Lloyd’s Register (LR) has awarded its first certification for an Uncrewed Surface Vessel (USV) to the DriX maritime drone, developed by Exail. The new certification attests that the surface drone meets critical safety requirements to be operated at sea.

The DriX system design was reviewed against LR’s Code for Unmanned Marine Systems. It included a detailed system level analysis, construction survey, as well as sea trials. The review covered essential design areas such as structural integrity, stability, as well as command and control in the context of remotely supervised autonomy.

The certification is another milestone for the DriX USV and its operators and marks a major step forward in the transition of the maritime industry towards the adoption of new autonomous technologies.

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Demonstrating safety of autonomous tech

Stéphane Vannuffelen, Marine Autonomy Technical Director at Exail, says the certification will aid them to ‘provide a clear and robust safety argument to regulators’. Vanuffelen: ‘At Exail, we are closely involved in developing maritime drones’ regulations, trying to raise the standards and acceptance of USVs. By working together with class societies such as Lloyd’s Register, that attest of maritime drones’ highest levels of safety and environmental compliance, we aim to demonstrate that autonomous technologies are safe to deploy and operate.’

He concludes: ‘Through such collaborations, we hope to be able to help strengthen the global acceptance of maritime drones within our industries, as they support operational efficiency, as well as a safe, sustainable maritime energy transition.’

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