Russian Federal Agency for Maritime and River Transport has issued Rules for application of the COLREGs-72 by autonomous vessels
On January 19, the Federal Agency for Maritime and River Transport has issued the Guidelines for the Application of the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions of Ships, 1972 (COLREGs-72) by Autonomous Vessels.
The Guideline includes general requirements for the application of automatic collision avoidance as well as description of scenarios and mathematical algorithms for each rule of COLREGs-72. This Guideline shall work as a ground for the proper software application development for the maritime autonomous surface ships (MASS) under the Russian flag.
On December 5, 2020 Russian government has approved the Decree on introductions of the national wide experiment in MASS operation. It allows every shipping company to carry out regular MASS operation as a part of the experiment, in accordance with the Decree requirements during the interim period till December 2025. The document is based on the IMO Interim Guidelines for MASS trials and prescribes full compliance with COLREGs-72.
Particularly the Guideline provides general principles and limitations for the automatic control of MASS, and scenarios for each typical situation defined by COLREGs-72: Head-in ship approach, Overtaking: avoiding collision with overtaking ship, Overtaking: avoiding collision with ship being overtaken, Crossing situation: both ships have equal priority in the context of rule 18 (actions by give-way ship), Crossing situation: both ships have equal priority in the context of rule 18 (actions by ship required to keep her course and speed), Crossing situation: ships have equal priority in the context of rule 18 (actions by give-way ship), Crossing situation: ships have equal priority in the context of rule 18 (actions by ship required to keep her course and speed), Crossing ship traffic separation scheme, Entering ship traffic separation scheme, Collision avoidance in restricted visibility conditions.
Alexander Pinskiy, head of Industry Association MARINET and author of the a-Navigation project says: “This is, probably, the first official guideline formalizing COLREGs-72 rules and the best practice in clearly determined, applicable for computer systems way. We firstly implement figures and algorithms understandable not just for human navigator, but for the autonomous systems and software developers”.
He said that recommendations on the application of COLREGs-72 in the current version can be subject to the further modification following trial operation of MASS under the Russian flag.
The Guideline is available for free at the official web site of the Federal Agency for Maritime and River Transport http://morflot.gov.ru/deyatelnost/napravleniya_deyatelnosti/morskoy_flot/rekomendatsii_po_primeneniyu_mejdunarodnyih_pravil_predotvrascheniya_stolknoveniya_sudov_1972_goda_mppss-72_avtonomnyimi_sudami.html?fbclid=IwAR0Kgds_lazUZVxO_Fte7Qv1A5nxkX7-5aBIL6LLLTdCcQISsZVcHBTiqHY