International field analysis on use cases for autonomous maritime systems

German Maritime Centre commissions study


Aiming to foster the national innovation process towards autonomous maritime systems (AMS), the German Maritime Centre commissioned an international field analysis of AMS use cases. The study aims to provide an international overview on R&D activities in terms of holistic ship designs and to evaluate the feasibility of AMS use cases. By doing so, the German Maritime Centre wants to create the basis for a strategic coordination on a national level to support knowledge management, facilitate technology transfer, and initiate innovation.

The study will identify and document AMS projects as well as analyse and evaluate their characteristics and framework conditions. It aims to generate abstract use cases for AMS and to elaborate on them with regard to their technical feasibility, their economic potential, and their ecological and social acceptability. The study will assess the overarching likelihood of realisation for each respective use case via expert surveys. Based on the international project overview, the analysis of the field, and the results of the expert surveys, a course of action for the national maritime economy, public administration, and politics will be identified, discussed, and recommended. The study shall answer the question of how international technology transfer can be ensured and how national RDI for certain AMS applications can be enabled, promoted, and accompanied at all decision-making levels.

The project is divided into 4 work packages:

  • International project review
    International projects on AMS use cases will be identified, catalogued, analysed, and evaluated. AMS are defined in this study as use cases and holistic designs of surface vessels (cf. the IMO definition of “MASS”). Based on the international project review, the German maritime industry’s status quo will be put in an international context.
  • Drafting use cases
    Abstract AMS use cases and a procedure to evaluate such use cases will be developed by interviewing an expert panel. The basis for this is the DGON information paper on AMS from 20211. Use cases are to be developed in different domains (tasks in the transport of goods and people, exploration tasks, tasks of public authority, etc.) and areas of application (maritime, coastal and inland shipping, port areas, urban areas, etc.). The area of “defence” (exclusively military use) is not included in this study.
  • Evaluation of use cases
    Evaluation of the previously developed use cases by experts on the basis of evaluation criteria and an evaluation scale with regard to technological, economic, ecological, and social criteria.
  • Recommended course of action
    Based on the results, policy recommendations that can enable, promote, and accompany the use of autonomous maritime systems at all decision-making levels are to be identified for the maritime industry, public administration, and politics on a technological, economic, ecological, and social level.

The call for tenders was a non-formal competition procedure according to § 50 UVgO for which, analogous to the negotiated procedure with a call for tenders according to the UVgO, individual regulations were applied, in particular regarding the procedure and the evaluation. PCCG Point Conception Consulting GmbH  from Hamburg was awarded the contract. The period of performance is 6 months.


1) DGON 2021 – Informationspapier zum Einsatzspektrum und Anwendungsfällen Autonomer Maritimer Systeme (accessed 5 July 2021)
Abonnieren Sie unseren NewsletterDMZ Newsletter