Proceedings of the

The 33rd European Safety and Reliability Conference (ESREL 2023)
3 – 8 September 2023, Southampton, UK

Investigation of Statutory and Class Society Based Requirements for Electronic Lookout

Victor Bolbot1,2,a, Douglas Owen1,2,b, Meriam Chaal1,2,c, Ahmad BahooToroody1,2,d, Martin Bergström3, Marko Rahikainen4 and Osiris Valdez Banda1,2,e

1Risks and Intelligence in Marine Systems, Marine and Arctic Technology Group, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Aalto University, Finland.

2Kotka Maritime Research Centre, Kotka, Finland /EADDRESS/
3German Aerospace Center (DLR), Institute of Maritime Energy Systems, Germany.

4One Sea Association, Director of Regulatory Affairs, Helsinki, Finland.


Novel advanced systems, employing information and communication technology, are emerging. An example of such a system is the electronic lookout (e-lookout), which functions as the visual lookout performed by humans on ships. In this paper, we investigated what types of requirements may arise for e-lookout based on an analysis of statutory documents and existing class society guidelines for autonomous ships. To this end, first, we identified elookout functions based on a functional breakdown, considering both existing maritime function classifications as well as experts' opinion. Second, we investigated the class society guidelines for autonomous ships concerning elookout and the applicability of existing regulatory requirements for conventional human lookout including those specified by STCW, COLREGS, and SOLAS. Considering the existing regulatory requirements for lookout, we proposed alternative equivalent requirements for e-lookout. Specifically, based on the analysis, we specified seventeen novel requirements for functionality, reliability, availability, maintainability, and safety. It is expected that the analysis implemented, and methodology presented will support the development of an appropriate regulatory framework for e-lookout and autonomous ships.

Keywords: Autonomous ships, Electronic lookout, Functions, Requirements, Safety, Goal-based standards, Regulatory scoping exercise.

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