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SPECTRUM - Ship Evacuation with Reduced Manning

Currently, automation and land-based control of ships is intensely researched, with driving forces such as efficiency, savings and increased safety. But when the new technology is being transferred to the passenger traffic, new challenges rise. Can an evacuation be guaranteed when the crew on board is reduced or is completely removed?

The project SPECTRUM (Ship Evacuation with Reduced Manning) is a pre-study focused on evacuation from passenger ships in coastal traffic. On some matters, the coastal traffic has simpler operative conditions with their shorter voyages over relatively protected waters. For this reason, the crews on coastal traffic ships are already smaller, and for the same reason this is an attractive test case for automation and land-based control.

However, the step from a small crew to no crew can be large. Previous research conducted by RISE implies that humans have a key role in the management of large incidents. Automation and crew reductions must be based on a good understanding of today's evacuation system and its success factors. It is already clear that certain evacuation activities will be under different circumstances when the crew is reduced; for example, information, wayfinding, relocation of passengers, technical preparation and boarding of lifeboats, as well as maintaining passengers' sense of security and confidence. There is a need for knowledge in several areas, both about new ways of organizing rescue operations and about new technology that can compensate for reduced crew onboard.

The project goal is, among other things, to describe the risks related to evacuation which can follow increased automation and remote control in coastal traffic. The purpose is to create a foundation for future research and development. Possible needs for regulation amendments will also be analyzed within the project.


Project name





Västra Götaland Region

RISE role in project


Project start


17 months

Total budget



The Swedish Transport Administration

Project members

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Contact person

Julia Burgén


+46 73 690 21 91

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