Operationalizing COLREGs in SMART ship navigation
Report, 2022

The maritime industry is undergoing a transformation driven by digitalization and connectivity. The technological realization of Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships (MASS) presents significant challenges for the maritime human factors research community. These challenges relate to system design, human-automation interaction, stakeholder training, use and acceptance of new technology systems, and on a larger scale, how the regulatory framework, including the Collision Regulations (COLREGs) will be impacted within a MASS system. Decision support is the next step in the transformation towards more connected ships, however, such systems for navigation are largely unexplored from the users’ perspective.The decision support system studied in this project was developed by Wärtsilä and is called Advanced Intelligent Manoeuvring (AIM), aligning with “low-level automation” or Level 1 (out of a 4-level progression) of MASS. AIM can generate suggestions for course or speed alterations based on data from surrounding traffic. A full-mission bridge simulator study was conducted at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden with nineteen Swedish navigators. Three traffic scenarios each with three ships were completed in both baseline (no AIM) and AIM conditions. A mixed methods data collection and analysis approach was employed using questionnaires, collective interviews, and an evaluation of the ship tracks. The results show that the navigators perceive AIM as an advisory tool, to visualize how traffic situations could unfold, an outcome currently difficult for most navigators to conceive. This report discusses the present and near future of the maritime sociotechnical system, highlighting the benefits of automation, while remaining vigilant about the potential dangers.

Decision support

Human Factors



Reto Weber

Chalmers, Mechanics and Maritime Sciences (M2), Maritime Studies

Katie A Aylward

Chalmers, Mechanics and Maritime Sciences (M2), Maritime Studies

Scott Mackinnon

Chalmers, Mechanics and Maritime Sciences (M2), Maritime Studies

Monica Lundh

Chalmers, Mechanics and Maritime Sciences (M2), Maritime Studies

Mikael Hägg

RISE Research Institutes of Sweden

Learning from Algorithm Based decision Support systems (COLREG-LABS)

Swedish Transport Administration, 2020-05-01 -- 2022-04-30.

Lighthouse, 2020-05-01 -- 2022-04-30.

Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Areas of Advance



Chalmers Maritime Simulators

Subject Categories

Interaction Technologies

Human Computer Interaction

Information Systemes, Social aspects



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