In my last blog I made mention of the recent publication from the Japan Ship Technology Research Association, titled ‘Shipbuilding in Japan Solution Book 2019’, that can be accessed and downloaded here: www.sajn.or.jp/e/press/view/e7499d2ebfbeecdae6a07c5184f866490043fd6f if you didn’t get to see it last week.  I mentioned that the article on pages 17 and 18 is headed: ‘Japan looks toward automated shipping’, which, as an engineer I think is fantastic progress.  It will be an amazing achievement when they eventually make it a successful, safe, effective and efficient reality, which will happen but it is probably another decade or two away.  However, here at Solar Solve Ltd, trading as Solar Solve Marine, a business that manufactures very special solar roller sunscreens primarily for installing at the navigation bridge windows of just about every type of surface vessel over 100dwt, this news is something the team here are very apprehensive about.

There are questions concerning the need for windows on the navigation bridge if the vessel is being navigated by shore based personnel from an office somewhere in the world, presumably anywhere in the world?

I have previously intimated that, in my opinion, I guesstimate it could be a couple of decades before unmanned ships are the normal way of trading over water.  Also I cannot believe the time will ever come when even automated ships do not have at least one person on board as insurance, just-in-case something does go wrong, plus a command centre with windows so the on-board crew can either bring it home or assist rescuers to do it.

Wishful thinking by a concerned onlooker?  Most certainly it is and I am.  So I was absolutely delighted when I took a closer look at the computer generated images of the proposed vessels and saw they all had navigation bridges that were full of windows.  It seems that the future looks good for a long time to come, for Solar Solve’s amazing SOLASAFE and ROLASOLV products.  Good News indeed.