Recent Work by US Coast Guard and the Navigation Safety Advisory Council with Regard to Unmanned Vehicles/Vessels Presentation to Maritime Law Association’s Committee on Regulation of Vessel Operations, Safety, Security and Navigation April 28, 2015 Jeffrey Moller Navigation Safety Advisory Council (NAVSAC) is a group of maritime industry professionals constituted as a Federal Advisory Committee to assist the US Coast Guard in setting policy with respect to matters of navigation safety, most often pertaining to the COLREGS and the Inland Navigation Rules. 100130456v.1 Recent Agenda Items for NAVSAC: 1. Virtual or synthetic aids to navigation (ATON). 2. Vessel traffic issues with respect to proposed offshore wind farms. 3. Modernization of system for providing up-to-date navigation safety information. 4. Promoting the interest of navigation in marine planning policy. 5. Unmanned Maritime Systems Best Practices. Unmanned Maritime Systems Issue 1. First presented to USCG and NAVSAC by industry in 2008. 2. Industry seeks operational guidance, primarily to guide risk assessment and insurance decisions. 3. U.S. Navy and NOAA operate UMS also. 4. Multiple presentations by industry representatives with respect to varieties of vessels/vehicles, their limitations, uses and challenges. 5. Amendments to COLREGS considered. The Challenge Presented by UMS 1. Some are totally autonomous, possibly pre-programmed. 2. Some are drone-like, i.e., controlled by an operator. 3. Multiple missions - Some are operated by US Navy; some by academia; some by oil/gas; some by governmentalsponsored researchers. 4. Some can display lights and shapes – some cannot. 5. Most cannot keep a “lookout” in any traditional sense. 6. Most are restricted in their ability to maneuver, some are not. 7. Some are definitely conducting “special operations” and are restricted in ability to maneuver. 8. All of them are EXPENSIVE. Examples of UMS that Might be Encountered Naval Target Drone Lightweight, easily deployed, highly maneuverable fast marine target boat. The system is designed for use in naval gunnery training, weapons testing and ship command and control assessments. Website: ASVGlobal.com Examples of UMS that Might be Encountered Military and Security Unmanned Marine Vehicles High performance unmanned surface vehicle (USV) designed to offer a high degree of directional stability, substantial towing capacity for long-endurance mine sweeping missions and a robust electrical generating capacity to support modern mine sweeping equipment requirements. Examples of UMS that Might be Encountered Military and Security Unmanned Marine Vehicles Uses an autonomous controller and station keeping system. Power is provided by a diesel electric hybrid system featuring two industrial brushless propulsion motors each driving a propeller via a marinizing gearbox. The hull has been optimized for ocean performance and ease of launch and recovery. Examples of UMS that Might be Encountered Military and Security Unmanned Marine Vehicles Oil field services unmanned surface vehicle. Designed to conduct subsea positioning, surveying and environmental monitoring without the need of a ship on station or sea-bed anchoring. Examples of UMS that Might be Encountered Military and Security Unmanned Marine Vehicles Lightweight, easily deployed, highly maneuverable multipurpose work class Unmanned Surface Vehicle (USV). Designed for use in water quality sampling, environmental assessments and hydrography. The COLREGS and Inland Rules Challenges Should the Lookout Rule (Rule 5) be altered? Do UMS qualify as “vessels” under the rules or per case law? (Lozman v. City of Riviera Beach). Can any manned vessel be said to be “in sight of” an unmanned vessel? What lights, shapes or sounds can a UMS exhibit/make? (Parts C and D) Should UMS be given priority as vessels “not under command” or “restricted in ability to maneuver”? (Rule 18) USCG Draft “Best Practices” Document 1. Include UMS in definition of “vessel” if the UMS is used or capable of being used as a means of transportation. 2. Modify Rule 5 to require lookouts for only “manned” vessels, but requiring UMS to “allow for spatial awareness” using radar and/or “other available means”. 3. Require a UMS to keep clear of all other vessels under Rule 18. 4. Add requirement for flashing light, per advice of industry as to feasibility. NAVSAC Reaction to Best Practices Document If UMS qualifies as a “vessel” under existing law, it should comply with all existing COLREG/Inland Rule requirements. No modification to existing COLREG/Inland Rule requirements. If UMS not classifiable as vessel, it is presumptively a “hazard to navigation” and should be operated and equipped to eliminate unreasonable risk of collision and allision. UMS owners/operators should maintain third party liability insurance sufficient to cover foreseeable risks.