Revised update of LR's Cyber-enabled ships ShipRight procedure launched The update incorporates experience gained from involvement in a number of cyber-enabled ship projects, including guidance on autonomous operation and remote operation.

Regulation is slow by nature but we must not let it hinder the possibilities available, we need to support the industry in safely and effectively addressing the challenges posed by new uses of data, new platforms and new types of services, ways of working and vessels.

The newly revised ShipRight procedure has been developed to do just that. Using lessons learnt from live projects that are leading the progression in this field where LR is working with key clients such as Rolls-Royce, CSSC and Synergy Marine, as well as through lessons learnt by working with academic and industry partners at QinetiQ, the University of Southampton and the National Oceanography Centre, to name a few.

This important update includes three new descriptive notes, designed to give recognition to the early adopters and innovators in connected assets on ships. These descriptive notes include:

Cyber MAINTAIN – for recognition of digitally enabled condition based maintenance systems

Cyber PERFORM – for recognition of performance optimisation systems

Cyber SECURE – recognising that cyber security has been assessed in the context of design and build

The autonomy levels have also been refined based on evolving and improved understanding. The differences between vessel automation, remote monitoring and control, and fully autonomous operation and the associated accessibility from onboard or ashore have been clarified.

Autonomy levels are now referred to, and defined as, ‘Accessibility Levels for Autonomy/Remote Access’, and they are now numbered from 1 to 5. 

The descriptive note gives an Accessibility Level (AL) for autonomous/remote access for each system, ranging from the information-only AL0 (no access) and AL1 (manual access) through AL2 (cyber access for remote or autonomous monitoring) up to the highest AL5 (autonomous monitoring and control, with no onboard permission required or override possible).

The risk-based design (RBD) process includes specific considerations relating to cyber enablement, particularly the interactions between crew and shore staff, and systems providing cyber-enabled functions. 

The accessibility achieved by the cyber enablement, guides the risk assessment activities needed to identify the relevant hazards and the mitigations needed. Thus the assurance activities required at the engineering system or ship level are appropriately scaled to match the depth of cyber enablement accessibility.

Also built in to the new ShipRight are refined definitions, a more developed set of considerations for cyber-enabled systems and a useful guide to assist clients through the process of what they must consider as well as submission examples/suggestions.

Nick Brown, LR Marine & Offshore Director said, "LR is constantly innovating to match the changing developments in technology within the industry. By addressing the risks and building a safe and secure foundation, we are proactively helping clients to identify and then realise the benefits to their business that are possible through digitalisation, as well as helping them prepare for forthcoming regulation. Our approach is extremely practical – we have already applied it to projects working with leading industry players to make autonomous shipping a practical reality; from Rolls-Royce and Svitzer and the world’s first remotely-controlled commercial vessel to CSSC and China’s first smart ship, Great Intelligence."

LR is a leading player in the safe adoption of digital technologies within the marine and offshore sector, and has pioneered a ‘total-systems’ approach. In February 2016, LR issued the first guidance on cyber-enabled ships: ‘Deploying Information and Communications Technology in Shipping – Lloyd’s Register’s Approach to Assurance’. This identified the elements that constitute a cyber-enabled ship and the activities that need to take place to ensure that cyber technology does not introduce a safety risk, effectively providing the industry with a route map to understanding the implications of digital technology. This was followed with the introduction of the industry’s first ShipRight procedure, which details LR’s framework for accepting cyber technology and is now revised with the launch of this most recent version.