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LR and the National Physical Laboratory partner on marine autonomy assurance

Lloyd's Register (LR) and the UK’s National Physical Laboratory (NPL) have teamed up to collaborate on marine autonomy projects to ensure that appropriate levels of service and competence can be achieved within the maritime industry.

As part of the framework agreement, the two organisations will collectively establish and enhance the current body of knowledge for marine autonomy. This combination of skills, expertise and experience will be built on to bring clarity to the requirements for the assurance of autonomy and assist stakeholders in realising the potential of these systems in the market.

This will allow standards to be set and consistently applied and will therefore bring surety to risk management and certification for autonomous and unmanned systems and vessels.

By partnering with NPL, LR will enhance the delivery of its services and assurance in marine autonomy and gain access to a wide range of knowledge and expertise developed in other aligned domains.

LR and NPL are currently working together to deliver a scope of services to the THEMIS Project, to demonstrate the feasibility for the world’s largest ocean-going autonomous vessel, which is part funded by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore’s (MPA) Maritime Innovation and Technology (MINT) fund.

NPL’s head of Digital, Neil Stansfield, said: “The National Physical Laboratory (NPL) is excited by the opportunities presented in this collaboration with Lloyd’s Register, where the two organisations complementary capabilities are well suited to addressing the challenge of assuring marine autonomous systems. This work represents an important part of the UK’s national programme to deliver confidence in the intelligent and effective use of data, which is being conducted with a range of partners across sectors and with a specific focus on autonomous systems. NPL is applying a combination of measurement skills, expertise and experience, in areas as diverse as sensor characterisation, data quality and AI validation, to support partners in the development of new tests, standards and regulations for the safety of autonomous systems. This collaboration with Lloyd’s Register will help ensure the UK maintains its global leadership in the marine services Sector, where the autonomous shipping sector is expected to represent a global $52bn market opportunity by 2050.”

Tim Kent, LR technical director for Marine and Offshore said: “This collaboration with the NPL will allow LR to improve our own processes, knowledge and competency to better support our clients with marine autonomy projects. We are delighted to be partnering with NPL given its domain knowledge on autonomy from the connected and autonomous vehicles (CAV) and unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) domains.”

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