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MarTID 2019: Autonomy & the Seafarer

November 6, 2018

Rolls-Royce Marine has been on the leading edge of technology development for autonomous shipping.Image: Copyright Rolls-Royce Marine

Rolls-Royce Marine has been on the leading edge of technology development for autonomous shipping.Image: Copyright Rolls-Royce Marine

While the technology to facilitate autonomous shipping matures, many questions remain, led by the size, shape and role of the Future Mariner. The MarTID 2019 Survey aims to shed some light.

The Maritime Training Insights Database steering group has announced the upcoming launch of the 2019 MarTID survey, which this year focuses on the trend toward autonomous vessel operations and its impact on training current and future mariners. MarTID is a non-commercial, joint initiative of the World Maritime University, Marine Learning Systems and New Wave Media. Its core principles include ethical integrity, objectivity and confidentiality. It was launched in 2018 with the completion of the inaugural survey and publication of the 2018 Training Practices Report (which can be found at
This MarTID initiative is an important one, the first of its kind in the world. There is broad agreement that roughly 80% of maritime accidents involve human factors causes. As such, vessel operators and maritime training centers are pouring significant resources into creating best practice and innovative training programs. The MarTID database, which will grow in breadth and depth annually, shines a bright light on the training approaches and successes of global vessel operators and training centers, such as:

•What are the global trends in training budgets?

•What is the average training amount spent per seafarer?

•What training technologies are considered effective and which training models are growing in their adoption?

•How confident are vessel operators and training centers in the training methods they employ?

All of these and much more are answered in the 2018 Training Practices Report. With the information in the annual MarTID reports, training leaders are able to benchmark their own results, learning from the successes and failures of others, rather than independently inventing and designing their own training approach in isolation.

The 2019 MarTID Survey
The 2019 survey, to be launched soon and closed early in 2019, is designed to further the mission of MarTID: to provide a global picture of maritime training that is not currently available. While last year’s survey was designed to collect a broad set of foundational training data, this year’s survey will be shorter and consist of two foci.

The first section of the survey will focus on collecting benchmark data tracked annually, revealing trends in core training issues. These include training budgets, training models, training staffing, the use of technology, major training initiatives, and seafarer demographics.

The second section will focus on this year’s special topic: the impact of autonomous vessel operations on maritime training. It would be hard to identify a maritime industry topic which is receiving more attention than the move toward an increasing level of autonomous operations. Differences in data collection, decision support, bridge manning levels, and human involvement in navigation will all greatly impact the need for and the type of training required. This trend has already begun to impact operations and the need for training. If the automobile industry is any predictor of how quickly this might move, then it is incumbent upon maritime training professionals to consider the emerging needs deeply and without delay. The 2019 MarTID survey will enable this process with data upon which decisions can be made and will explore the perspectives of vessel operators/managers, maritime administrators, maritime training experts and seafarers. The 2019 survey will be followed by a series of publicly-available reports, broadly published. These reports will provide both high-level and deep-dive information covering both broad trends as well as deep coverage of the 2019 special topic.  

Take the Survey
Although this initiative has been founded and run by the three partner organizations, it requires community involvement to succeed. You will be hearing more about the 2019 MarTID survey in the coming weeks and months, but right now, we need your help. Specifically:

•If you work at a vessel operator/manager or maritime training facility, please make your senior training administrator aware of this important survey by sharing this article with them.

•If you are a senior training administrator of a vessel operator/manager or training facility, a maritime administrator, or a seafarer, we need you to complete a survey on behalf of your organization.

Marine Learning SystemsWorld Maritime University

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