Ship’s Bridge of the Future?

gCaptain has a report on a proposed new bridge configuration from shipbuilder Ulstein–very futuristic. I liked the chairs.

We may some day get to the point we don’t actually look outside anymore. We might use enhanced synthetic vision that can provides a close up view of what other vessels are doing, annotated with ID, course, speed and CPA (closest point of approach), along with other information retrievable from a data base.

I’m sure there are better ergonomic options that what we are doing today, but sometimes too many options for presentation can lead to confusion. The Ulstein Vision reminded me of the BMW “iDrive” which has gotten a lot of criticism, apparently because it is too unconventional.

Looking at the huge expanses of glass in the animation, I remembered two of my ships that had survived WWII. Their pilot houses were dark with only relatively small round ports. The 327 had not always been that way. When built, like all cutters built between the wars, she had had large square windows on the bridge, but with the war, ports in the hulls were plated over and the large bridge windows replaced by the much smaller round ports–providing more protection from shrapnel.

Bridge configuration is an area that probably doesn’t get as much attention as it should.

7 thoughts on “Ship’s Bridge of the Future?

  1. Nicky, there will always an alternative method of steering. The Navy still mans after steering. Those compartments are in some scary places.

    I can recall the steering casualty drills aboard an 82-footer. Done with tillers, and block and tackle. A bit slow but that just meant the person on the bridge had to plan his moves better.

    I understand this is an artist’s conception, but where do you hang the “puke” bucket? Technology will not relieve a sea sick helmsman.

    • I am saying, maybe in a distant future, steering a ship will be like Star Trek Technology or Star wars technology. Maybe some day down the road, we can see this type of technology in steering a ship with multiple layers of back up. I can see the first using digital computers and the last, manual emergency steering room.

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