In the autumn of 2016, the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) and the Danish Maritime Authority published a pre-analysis on autonomous ships. The pre-analysis describes the potential of autonomous ships.
The report briefly summarizes how to define various levels of autonomy.
From the lowest level with entirely manual operation, where information from electronic charts and about the ship's position, course and speed is available to the navigating officer and he has a radar overview that designates the course and speed of other ships; over various levels of decision support, where the automatics perform still more tasks; to levels of autonomous as such.
Read a pre-analysis on autonomous ships.