E-Navigation: where are we now?
Where are we now in terms of moving towards global e-Navigation?
It is fascinating to see the examples of activities going on within e-Navigation, sea traffic management and test beds around the world. Although there are only islands of excellence, by having them around the globe, we will be able to lift the initiative up, and in a couple of years, e-Navigation should be up and running.
Wouldn’t you say that’s quite an optimistic prognosis?
E-Navigation is already happening. The main inhibiting factor, as I see it, is not the technology, which is all there. It’s still the satellite communications that are a problem and a cost factor. Hopefully, within a couple of years’ time, there will be some developments in satellite communications that should enable us to get going with e-Navigation.
What is the most important step towards implementing e-Navigation?
Which benefits of test beds are most important to the implementation of e-Navigation?
Just doing it. When it comes to technology or any technology-driven projects — especially with software involved — it is very difficult to talk about them as they are not a tangible thing. You cannot show what they are until you’ve given them into the hands of an end user. That’s why we need the feedback from the end users.
How much does e-Navigation depend on the mandatory ECDIS implementation?
Any initiative that would involve software-based technology with e-Navigation is, of course, a step in the right direction — even if it’s a step backwards or a mistake. We learn a lot from mistakes. ECDIS has been criticized so much. What I can see is that we should learn our lessons from it and when we are trying to implement e-Navigation, we should make sure that the architecture, based on which it is going to be implemented, is at the right abstraction level and is not limited and is not dictating any specific technology. It has to be future-proof. E-Navigation is an ongoing effort, and to many, in many ways, it is a disruptive concept, because it does affect current business models and it is challenging from that perspective. We all need to find and learn new ways of innovating business models underway.
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