Safe Vessel Operations – The Tacit Knowledge of Navigators
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionTransNav, International Journal on Marine Navigation and Safety of Sea Transportation. 2023, 17 (3), 579-586. 10.12716/1001.17.03.09
ABSTRACT: The collision regulations include several qualitative terms without providing guidance as to how these terms could be understood in quantitative terms. These terms must therefore be interpreted by navigators, which poses a problem for autonomous ships. Extend the knowledge of how navigators interpret the collision regulations, with a specific focus on how they interpret the rule covering the requirement to proceed at a safe speed. Qualitative study based on interviews of a convenience sample of eight Norwegian navigators. Data was analysed with systematic text condensation. Navigators characterise safe speed as a speed in which they have control. Navigators do not look at different factors mentioned in the collision regulations in isolation, but within the context of the situation. Determining the safe speed of a vessel is more complicated than made out in the literature. As autonomous ships will have to cooperate with conventional vessels, their programming must include the knowledge of how the collision regulations are interpreted by human navigators.