Zero-emission and autonomous ferries can solve transport and environmental needs for cities and local communities. They eliminate economic and ecological costs of roads and bridges when opening new infrastructure and housing developments. Their success and the benefits they bring will, however, depend upon technical assurance that they are fit for purpose as well as acceptance and trust by society.
Integrated assurance framework
TRUSST’s objective is to innovate an integrated assurance framework to transform a complex system into a trust ecosystem.
At heart, an autonomous ferry service is a complex AI-governed cyber-physical system of ferries, docking/charging stations, and communication and support centres, backed by a digital twin. Traditional assurance methods and tools are not well-equipped to build trust in assets that are so digitalized. Future developments will require both the digitalization of assurance and the capabilities to assure digital assets. In addition, the ability to conduct continuous assurance is key, as the risks of digital assets and consequences of their deployment in society are not yet fully known.
The assurance approach must also attend to ethical dilemmas and engage with citizens to ensure deployment of new technologies not only respond to societal needs and concerns, but also enhances lives and contributes to a more sustainable future.
The Assurance of Digital Assets Framework is structured into two main phases. The first provides an in-depth understanding of the actual ferry and its use, giving central attention to the needs and possibilities of all stakeholders in order to identify risks and opportunities. The second phase builds an assurance case that eventually leads to the substantiation of all claims reflecting the ferry’s stakeholder needs.
The TRUSST project uses the pilot ferry milliAmpere 2 owned by NTNU and the Zeabuz mobility system as a case for maturing this new Assurance of Digital Assets framework. It is partially funded by the Research Council of Norway. The project also has a reference group consisting of the Norwegian Maritime Authority, Torghatten and Trondheim municipality.