Ship collision avoidance methods


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Collision prevention is critical for navigation safety at sea. At early ages, researchers aimed at developing navigational assistance systems for enhancing situational awareness of human operators as human is at the core of collision avoidance. Recently, autonomous vehicles have gained a remarkable amount of attention with a focus on solving collision problems by machines. This results in two groups of studies, both working on preventing collisions but with different focuses: one aims at conflict detection, and the other focuses on conflict resolution. This paper offers a comprehensive overview of collision prevention techniques based on the three basic processes of determining evasive solutions, namely, motion prediction, conflict detection, and conflict resolution. The strengths and weaknesses of different methods for these three fundamental processes are discussed. Limitations and new challenges are highlighted. Moreover, this review points out the differences between the research for manned and unmanned ships and how the research in the two domains can learn from each other. A potential roadmap for the transition from existing manned ships to fully unmanned ships is provided in the end.