Collision in maritime transportation
Human errors are still one of the major causes of maritime accidents (Guedes Soares & Teixeira,2001) and 75–95% of marine accidents and cau-salities are caused by some types of human errors(Rothblum et al., 2002, and Antão & GuedesSoares 2008) in accordance with the reported data.Therefore, as illustrated by e-navigation (eNAV2010), the accumulation of intelligent decisionmaking capabilities into navigational systems willlimit the human subjective factors in navigation,which can increase the safety and security of mari-time transportation.The proposed e-navigation concept can beformulated as a collaborated network of trafficinformation among vessels and shore based sta-tions to improve safety and security in maritimetransportation. Furthermore, the e-navigation candecrease navigational errors, increase awareness of vessel situations, improve traffic monitoring facili-ties, and reduce transportation costs. (Ward andLeighton, 2010).1.2
Safety measures and risk assessments
The safety measures of maritime transportationwere influenced by several groups (Wang et al.,2006): ship designer, ship operators and maritimesocieties. The ship designers influence by safedesign of bridge layout, navigational equipments,engine and steering control, maneuverability, andredundancy. The ship operators influence by safeoperation of ship speed, manning levels, crew atti-tude and training, and maintenance. The maritimesocieties influence by safe aiding and monitoringof vessel traffic systems, pilots, traffic lanes, aidsto navigation (i.e. AIS, GPS) and safety inspectionprocedures.However, the effectiveness of maritime safetymeasures are eventually evaluated under rigorousnavigation and collision conditions with respectto the vessel operator’s decisions. Therefore, thebest onboard navigation tools (i.e. intelligent sys-tems and sensors) should be available to influencethe ship operation to make better decisions thatimprove the safety and security conditions withinmaritime transportation.The analysis of vessel navigation informationwill help to detect collision situations and to assesscollision risk. The collision risk should be evalu-ated in real-time by vessels and/or Vessel TrafficMonitoring and Information Systems (VTMIS) inorder to guarantee safety and security measures inmaritime transportation. As illustrated by Imazu(2006), the mathematical formulation of collisiondetection between two vessels can be divided intwo methods: Closest Point Approach method(CPA) that is a two dimensional method (2D) andPredicted Area of Danger method (PAD) that is athree dimensional method (3D).The CPA method consists of calculating theshortest distance between two vessels and assess-ing the collision risk that could be predicted withrespect to each vessel domain. However, the CPAmethod alone cannot be implemented in the evalu-ation process of collision risk, since it does notconsider the vessel size, course and speed varia-tions. An extensive study of the CPA method withrespect to a two vessel collision situation is pre-sented by Kwik (1989).The PAD method consists of modeling one ves-sel possible trajectories as an inverted cone andthe other vessel trajectory as an inverted cylinder,being the region of both object intersections cat-egorized into the Predicted Area of Danger. Bothvessels’ size, course and speed conditions could beintegrated into the geometry of the objects of navi-gational trajectories in this study.However, both studies are limited to constantparameter conditions (i.e. fixed vessel’s speed andcourse conditions) that may not always be realis-tic in maritime transportation. Therefore, a novelmethod to detect potential collision situations withthe parameter uncertainties in maritime transpor-tation (i.e. variation in vessel speed and course con-ditions) is proposed in this study.1.3
Collision risk assessment
This study formulates a methodology to detectpotential collision situations, while vessels aremaneuvering in close proximity. The proposeddetection process consists of the derivation of rela-tive navigation trajectory and course-speed vectorbetween two vessels that could use to evaluate priorcollision/near collision conditions.Even though, in this study, the collision detec-tion process is derived with respect to a two vesselcollision situation that can be developed for a multi-vessel collisions situation by the accumulation of two vessel collision situations. The proposed colli-sion detection process consists of following steps;the observation of both vessels’ positions; theestimation of both vessels’ velocities, accelerationsand navigational trajectories; the calculation of the vessel relative navigational trajectory and rela-tive course-speed vector of a selected vessel withrespect to other vessel.In general, the vessel navigators monitor collisionsituations by observing the relative bearing of othervessels in open sea; the unchanged relative bearing of a vessel could lead to a collision situation. However,this requirement alone could not predict accuratecollision conditions and should not be used in thedecision making process under complex navigationalconditions; that involve multiple vessels.