To create a better world for future generations, we must all work together to identify and implement strategies for sustainable living. When it comes to combating climatic changes as well as other major "carbon limitations" challenges, such as the preservation of public health, the marine industry is at the forefront. Achieving sustainable development goals is a shared responsibility, and artificial intelligence is a strong instrument to help its stakeholders reach their goals.
How might artificial intelligence aid the maritime sector in reaching its SDGs?
When it comes to making the marine industry greener, AI is a powerful friend. To everyone's benefit, this technology will allow for the construction of more eco-friendly ships, as well as enhancements to processes, process optimization, resource utilisation, and waste management. As many carbon emissions as feasible should be reduced or eliminated.
Sustainable Development Goals (SDG):
The UN Summit that was held in New York City on September 25th, 2015 established 17 SDGs with associated 169 objectives. The goal is to provide individuals and governments with actionable steps to "change our planet" by the year 2030. The shipping business can make use of two of the objectives listed below.
Counteracting global warming:
Climate action, a United Nations Sustainable Development Goal, refers to efforts to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide. The goals can best be attained by decreasing energy use and increasing the usage of renewable energy sources.
Save the sea animals:
Preserving marine life and ecosystems is priority number one. The plan also seeks to make coastal towns more resistant to the effects of climate change.The sector is counting on cutting-edge innovation, particularly AI, to help it achieve its lofty ambitions.
What is AI?
A technological advancement that enhances human intelligence and capacities, artificial intelligence (AI) is. Smarter tools can be built with AI's help, and automation progress can be sped up. It helped the environment while also improving a wide variety of sectors and businesses.
Decision-making, interactive communication, prediction, as well as data pattern recognition are just a few of the many uses for AI. Together with other emerging technologies such as ML, IoT, as well as big data, AI is poised to become an indispensable component of the marine sector.
How can AI help bring sustainability as well as make the maritime industry become greener?
The marine sector's use of AI is already contributing to the achievement of the SDGs, and it will continue to do so in the future. Some of AI's contributions to maximum yield with little environmental impact are listed below.
- Reducing our carbon footprint: A container ship uses up gallons of fuel each day, on average. Consequently, cutting back on gas usage is an essential strategy for mitigating the effects of global warming. Builders, the shipping company, and the crew are all using AI to:
- lessen the ship's reliance on external power sources for propulsion and internal systems like lighting;
- using historical data, meteorological data, and real-time information acquired by linked sensors on board, optimise the route taken and the pace at which the ship travels to reduce the consumption of fuel as well as CO2 emissions;
- Eco-friendly fleet design:
There may be an increase in marine incidents as well as collisions as a result of the larger and more numerous cargo ships that are being built to fulfil rising demand. Between 75% and 96% of these incidents are attributable to human error. Seafarers can run ships more safely and efficiently thanks to improved capabilities of big data as well as new systems based on AI.
With the help of sensors, AI can identify potential dangers and unusual behaviour, allowing for the elimination or at least mitigation of negative outcomes.
Goal 9 of the UN Sustainable Development Agenda is to "build infrastructure that is resilient, foster innovation, as well as promote sustainable and all-inclusive industrialization." Members of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) use cutting-edge technology, such as AI, to help get the job done. Ships are made more sustainably by better data and cutting-edge technology in their design, construction, and operation.
Problems can be found and mistake predictions made before the exploitation stage, for instance, with the use of ML capabilities, AI, as well as historical data analysis.
Protecting Oceans and Marine Life:
Goal 14 of the Sustainable Development Agenda, "Conserve and sustainably utilise the seas, oceans, as well as marine resources to achieve sustainable development," recognises the importance of the maritime industry in enabling the sea to fulfil its regulatory role and conserve its diverse ecosystems. Its goals include reducing noise levels below the water, preventing ship-to-marine animal collisions, and controlling the dumping of ship garbage in the ocean.
Factors slowing down the speed of AI implementation:
However, there have been a number of issues that have arisen in recent years that must be addressed by freight forwarders, shipping firms, ports, as well as other logistics providers and customs agents.
- The percentage of international trade that is transported by sea has increased dramatically in recent decades.
- Global commerce has been severely impacted by the pandemic, resulting in backed-up ports, a lack of empty containers, and increased travel times.
- The frequency and severity of natural catastrophes are on the rise as global warming leads to worse weather, stronger ocean currents, and other adverse environmental circumstances.
- Users and regulators alike are demanding unfiltered, real-time data. Therefore, valuable data is required and must be mined using the right methods.
- There's a critical demand for on-the-job training due to a dearth of experienced crew members.
- People may become resistant to change because they worry their jobs will be automated away.
- Most businesses lack a coherent strategy that articulates their intended direction, key performance indicators (KPIs), and available resources.
There are countless ways in which AI may improve the transportation sector, and so far it has only begun to do so. As it becomes more readily available, AI will propel the shift toward a low-carbon maritime industry, especially in the realm of environmentally friendly shipping options. If analytics and robotic process automation are included, the applications explode. They care about more than just open-ocean sailing; they also care about harbour and beach operations.
Still, there are many obstacles to overcome before profitability, competitiveness, as well as sustainability, can be achieved in harmony. Several are monetary, while others are more systemic in nature. One of these is a failure to take a holistic or coordinated approach; instead, laws and measures are often applied in isolation from one another and other sectors. These piecemeal efforts weaken an effective maritime sustainability plan.