IMO – the International Maritime Organization – is the United Nations specialized agency with responsibility for the safety and security of shipping and the prevention of marine and atmospheric pollution by ships. IMO’s work supports the UN SDGs.
Description of Activities on AI
Project 1: Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships (MASS)
AI is part of the MASS functionality as the ship system (e.g. for collision avoidance) will have to learn from a large number of scenarios (Ship situations) to decide for the best anti-collision action to be taken. There will be many other AI applications for MASS. In this context, IMO developed a set of interim guidelines for the conduct of MASS trials, stipulating that trials should be conducted in a manner that provides at least the same degree of safety, security and protection of the environment as provided by the relevant instruments. IMO has also agreed on a road map for the development of a goal-based MASS Code which, as a first step, will be non-mandatory and be the basis for a mandatory MASS Code which is envisaged to enter into force on 1 January 2028.
Project 2: Marine Environmental Protection
IMO under its Global Industry Alliance to support Low Carbon Shipping (Low Carbon GIA) is working towards promoting Just-In-Time (JIT) arrivals of ships through the use of ship and port specific data with an aim to reduce fuel consumption and GHG emissions at sea and in ports.
Project 3: Digital Review
IMO is undertaking a digital review, to ensure a future-viable IMO, as part of a broader Functional Review. The Secretariat aims to ascertain what is working well and what is not working well, what is needed and what is redundant, and to develop a digital strategy and roadmap for the next 5 years to ensure the Secretariat embraces digital opportunities in a way which will make it future viable with regards to digital access.
Project 4: Knowledge building
A seminar/workshop to strengthen knowledge of the maritime community/IMO staff, as well as delegates.
Project 5: AI for Sustainable Maritime Transport (AI-SMART)
A Possible collaboration with private sector and AI solution providers to enable developing countries to be prepared for AI related solutions in maritime.