Autonomous ships are the talk of the town, but does everyone know what they are talking about? Probably not, despite consensus that the first vessels to self-operate will be shortsea ships.

“One of my concerns is do we have a common understanding?" said Eero Lehtovaara, head of regulatory affairs at ABB Marine & Ports. "I very often have the feeling we are talking about different things when I meet people.

“Often when people are talking about autonomy, they are thinking about remote operations and connectivity.