Impact & Vision
To TRL5, innovative technical solutions which significantly improve the safety of shipping will be developed and demonstrated
According to Allianz, passenger ships are among the first five types of vessels that suffer the biggest losses in sea during the last decade. Combined with the fact that these vessels’ capacity is constantly increasing (reaching more than 10000 passengers and crew), safety on board becomes of paramount importance. Timely and efficient evacuation under stressful situations and extreme weather situations is critical for protecting passenger and crew lives. Current evacuation practices in large passenger ships have been put to a test in a number of recent incidents. It has become evident that evacuation in such a stressful environment – especially under adverse weather conditions and/or with severe incidents on-board (e.g. fire, flooding) – for megaships of more than 10.000 passengers cannot run smoothly.
Evacuation plans are rigid: they are not addressing the human factors within such a stressful process. The latter however can be a dominant factor for many passengers (for example language barriers, elderly passengers or children, reduced mobility, failure to comply with instructions, etc.). The SafePASS system provides personalised information to each passenger – taking into account both the incident propagation and any demographic factor- for their evacuation while receiving info for their location and vital signs. Guidance and navigation is provided in a multitude of ways, orchestrating both vessel information systems and personal equipment (life jacket, smart bracelet, and smartphone), while linguistic barriers are removed by providing AI supported bot personalised assistance through earplugs detached to each life jacket.
Evacuation plans are static: they do not consider information on progressing events such as ship’s trim and list, fire and flooding propagation, etc. Through SafePASS the evacuation plan will be adapted including real time information about ongoing hazards (fire, flooding) but also their propagation in the short time period ahead. Optimal evacuation routes and total evacuation time are calculated continuously, offering enhanced decision support before and after evacuation is decided. At the same time, illustrating the optimal evacuation paths at any given location on the ship through active exit signs, ship’s displays and PSEs, drastically eliminates delays due to lack of proper orientation. Appropriate Risk Modelling Tools will be also developed that will encapsulate this information and provide feedback for any plan reconfiguration that needs to take place.
Current LSAs require skilled crew to handle, while boarding the life boats is a process that runs usually slowly, while leaving the passengers exposed to weather and other conditions. Novel lifeboats will be investigated through SafePASS, able to operate effectively in adverse weather conditions, while innovative access arrangements and evacuation passages will make the overall abandonment process simpler for a wide demographic of persons. The handling of the LSAs will become easy through AR supported guidance allowing their de-skilled operation. Furthermore novel ship architectural designs will be also elaborated to prove that SafePASS technologies can have a significant impact on minimizing the evacuation time and enhancing evacuation safety not only in current large cruise-ship structures but to structures of the future as well. Last but not least the crew itself has a restricted view of the entire process in their vicinity while no one can be certain whether all (and which) passengers have safely evacuated until quite late. SafePASS will provide an advanced COP (in a fixed and mobile holographic version) that will provide the crew with a holistic picture of the entire process, including the position of the passengers, ones that have not mustered or have not been accounted for and the status of the lifeboats’ embarkation.
The evacuation models used for evacuation planning fail to take into account the passenger behavior and goals and are much more complex in an actual evacuation. For example, passengers tend to search for missing kinsfolk, return to cabin to find a life jacket, or choose exits with which they are familiar and not ones indicated; as has been shown in eVACUATE project the availability of dynamic, location based evacuation routes has increased the opportunity for timely and safe evacuation in a multitude of scenarios. Abandonment time varies for the different age and mobility groups.
SafePASS provides innovative solutions that will reach up to TRL 5 addressing the aforementioned challenges. The SafePASS innovations will provide a framework for a safer, smooth and personalised evacuation process. These innovations will be thoroughly tested in labs, appropriate testbeds of the LSA manufacturers and
demonstrated on a final demo in a large cruise ship under construction.
KPIs: Overcome the IMO evacuation time limits set (80 mins of allowable total evacuation duration, 30 min for embarkation and launching duration); Building on the findings of eVACUATE FP7, reductions in mustering times (30% in case of obstructed routes to muster stations, 40% in case that more than 5% of people are not accounted for in the muster stations). Novel LSA performance better than conventional LSAs in different scenarios and weather conditions; Entry and boarding into the novel LSA wearing the novel PSE 20% quicker compared to conventional systems; Abandonment Time 20% less when using SafePASS innovations for a wide demographic group;
Activities will provide a technical basis and proposals for the revision of relevant international IMO safety regulations.
One of the main project’s outcomes is to revise international IMO safety regulations. This is achieved not only based on novel technologies that, among others, can impact the way evacuation is currently performed covering the whole lifecycle of evacuation from ALARM to RESCUE., but also because the current members of the consortium have the experience and willingness to direct evacuation procedures to a new era. SafePASS technological research portfolio consists of elements that can drastically change the way ship evacuation is currently perceived. Results related to risk modelling along with all other technical advances of SafePASS (validated through pilot activities) will contribute to the formation of a set of recommendations ready for submission by the end of the project. Three of the global leading experts in ship safety rules and major contributors to IMO, RINA (a founding member of IACS), RINA_S and DNV-GL, will ensure the realization of this ambitious but doable plan. It should be noted that the SafePASS testing methodology and Risk Modelling Tool development process have been built in a way to provide direct input into this process.
SafePASS results will lead to recommendations for IMO’s revision of SOLAS chapter III and LSA Code.
KPIs: One (1) Deliverable dedicated to the proposed revision of international IMO safety rules. One (1) presentation reported to IMO during a meeting to SSE Sub-Committee with our R&D results, the tests performed and the findings.
Concerning evacuation, activities will develop and demonstrate a system that is intuitive, as far as possible automated and fail safe so that it is operable without significant training.
Current evacuation procedures are rigid and do not take into account neither the dynamic situation at hand, nor the
human behaviour and whereabouts. SafePASS is intuitive in its nature (e.g. translation bot, de-skilled operation of LSAs, entry systems and evacuation passages fit-for-all, redundant visual-audio-haptic systems for guidance) allowing the evacuation process to be adjustable to the incident situation on-board while customising the evacuation route and process to the passengers as a whole and individually. SafePASS LSAs and alternative ship structures allow for larger flow of evacuation encompassing the demographic factor while offering a variety of support tools for the passengers, even overcoming language barriers and mobility issues. The entire evacuation process is guided by the core engine, which taking into account the location of the passengers and the associated risk from the Risk Modelling Tool will provide personalised instructions in an automated way through both the vessel systems and the passenger PSE. Decisions supported by the core platform (which is fail safe through enhanced power-saving provisions), through enhanced situational awareness and real-time risk calculations. All SafePASS LSAs are intuitive and easy-to-use by both the passengers and the crew. For the passengers redundant systems (smart life jacket, earplug with AI-enhanced translator bot for language oral support, smartphone application, dynamic exit signs, etc.) are in place to guide them through the evacuation. For the crew an AR application is used both for training and for manipulation of LSAs that significantly reduces the learning curve. The LSAs themselves are being built in a stakeholder-driven approach to allow their de- skilled operation. The COP and its mobile holographic version are intuitive and facilitate decision-making on a well-informed basis. The enriched visual information, once again is self-explanatory without the need for extensive training. Redundancy of the systems at hand and minimum dependency on the vessel situation enables a fail-safe evacuation system.
KPIs: SafePASS innovations endorsed by the Project Advisory Board; Dry-Land-evacuation tests for crew indicates a significant learning improvement (20%) on LSA handling; Demonstrate the fail-safe nature of the systems designed (all Single-Points-of-Failure removed) by adopting relevant pilot scenarios.
The system must enable the timely safe evacuation of large numbers of persons from a wide demographic range in adverse conditions.
The IMO evacuation time limits have been set to 80 min of allowable total evacuation duration and 30 min for embarkation and launching duration. However this has been difficult to reach in a variety of incidents in recent years. Furthermore current evacuation processes and tools are passenger-agnostic while exposing both passengers and the crew in (often) adverse weather conditions (for example when boarding the lifeboats) jeopardizing their well-being. SafePASS innovations ensure both a timely and passenger-adjusted evacuation process. To decrease evacuation time, the evacuation route is calculated dynamically in an optimum way to decrease time and risk, encompassing time propagation information for any incident on-board (fire, flooding). SafePASS does not only introduce novel life boats that are designed to enable quicker handling and entry times for a wide demographic range but also investigates the needed adjustments in ship design to further decrease evacuation time. The LSAs, including novel access arrangements and evacuation passages, as well as the entire evacuation process is designed to minimise passengers' exposure to weather conditions outside the ship or other potentially adverse conditions on deck. The life boats are built to overcome the hindrances imposed by unfavourable list and trim angles. To cope with different passengers group (e.g. children, elderly, reduced mobility, families with children, passengers with language constraints) a wide range of systems is provided: visual signs depicting the evacuation route, a vibration-enabled smart life jacket, an audio interface providing oral support in passenger's language through an AI translator bot, a smart bracelet encapsulating heart rate and calculating stress levels or health related issues that are transmitted to the crew, a localisation system able to monitor passengers' position and movements and a smartphone application that can provide guidance but also inform passengers about the position of their beloved ones (for families with children). SafePASS will put significant emphasis on social and behavioural analysis during evacuation, which will shape the co-design of SafePASS solutions.
KPIs: Demonstrate six (6) scenarios of passenger assistance that involve more than one user feedback types (Visual/Acoustic/Haptic); Demonstrate translation bot offering assistance in response to ten (10) representative unstructured information queries, in five (5) languages. Identify location with a 50% Circular Error Probability of 3m for all activated life vests. Associate at least 10 user requirements based on demographics with the systems
International cooperation with important shipping nations will facilitate common science based understandings and a global approach to marine safety.
SafePASS will follow an interdisciplinary approach reaching out to a variety of stakeholders and attempting to cooperate with players from the majority of important shipping nations worldwide. In the Consortium itself one can find partners from Greece, Cyprus, France, UK and Denmark (listed in the top 30 major Shipping Flags). Several of the partners involved (RINA, RINA_S, DNV GL, CdA, RCCL, VIKING, SURVITEC) have an international portfolio of activities reaching out to partners in all major shipping nations, especially those in the Asian and American counterpart. SafePASS will promote international and cross-boundaries approaches towards marine safety and will provoke discussions in a worldwide level for any possible amendments to worldwide standards. This will be facilitated through the Communities of Practice within WP7 and in a more strategic level through the Project Advisory Board. In the latter a set of major stakeholders have declared their willingness to participate (Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure – Germany, The Bahamas Maritime Authority -Bahamas, Hellenic Navy - Greece and P&O Ferries-Ireland).
KPIs: Three (3) international workshops with at least 30 participants from at least 10 important shipping nations (as listed by the International Chamber of Shipping) within WP7; Two (2) meetings of the Project Advisory Board and active involvement to critical phases of the project (requirements elicitation, system validation, etc).
Impact on IMO regulations
IMO in the Revised Guidelines on Evacuation Analysis for New and Existing Passenger Ships, invites the Member States “…to collect and submit to the Sub-Committee on Ship Systems and Equipment for further consideration, any information and data resulting from research and development activities (such as the ones described hereafter), full- scale tests and findings on human behaviour, which may be relevant for the necessary future upgrading of the present guidelines; to submit to the Sub-Committee on Ship Systems and Equipment information on experience gained in the implementation of the guidelines; and to use the Guidance on validation/verification of evacuation simulation tools provided in Annex 3 of the MSC.1, Circ. 1533(2016) when assessing the ability of evacuation simulation tools to perform an advanced evacuation analysis”. The SafePASS breakdown of activities is structured taking these guidelines into consideration.
IMO provisions for life-saving appliances were opened for alternative design in 2007 (SOLAS Reg. III/38 and MSC.1/Circ.1212 Guidelines) and since then been used for demonstrating that novel means are at least as safe as appliances complying with SOLAS, in particular for life-saving appliances of large passenger ships. However, even if risk-based methods are used in alternative design for assessing the safety of single novel elements, they are hardly used for the whole evacuation process for ships in distress. SafePASS will develop a complete new, risk-based understanding of the whole evacuation process of passenger ships that provides the basis for identifying gaps and shortcomings in current IMO provisions as well as their impact on the risk of all persons on board in quantitative terms. By this SafePASS will support the developments of a goal-based regulatory framework following the safety level approach, e.g. specification of safety based expected performance. Additionally, SafePASS will develop recommendation for improving IMO regulatory framework by new risk control options that were evaluated by means of IMO specific criteria (MSC-MEPC.2/Circ.12/Rev.2).