Review of Ship Behavior Characteristics in Mixed Waterborne Traffic

Yingjie Tang , Junmin Mou, Linying Chen, Yang Zhou*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
37 Downloads (Pure)


Through the continuous development of intellectualization, considering the lifecycle of ships, the future of a waterborne traffic system is bound to be a mixed scenario where intelligent ships of different autonomy levels co-exist, i.e., mixed waterborne traffic. According to the three modules of ships’ perception, decision-making, and execution, the roles of humans and machines under different autonomy levels are analyzed. This paper analyzes and summarizes the intelligent algorithms related to the three modules proposed in the last five years. Starting from the characteristics of the algorithms, the behavior characteristics of ships with different autonomous levels are analyzed. The results show that in terms of information perception, relying on the information perception techniques and risk analysis methods, the ship situation can be judged, and the collision risk is evaluated. The risk can be expressed in two forms, being graphical and numerical. The graphical images intuitively present the risk level, while the numerical results are easier to apply into the control link of ships. In the future, it could be considered to establish a risk perception system with digital and visual integration, which will be more efficient and accurate in risk identification. With respect to intelligent decision-making, currently, unmanned ships mostly use intelligent algorithms to make decisions and tend to achieve both safe and efficient collision avoidance goals in a high-complexity manner. Finally, regarding execution, the advanced power control devices could improve the ship’s maneuverability, and the motion control algorithms help to achieve the real-time control of the ship’s motion state, so as to further improve the speed and accuracy of ship motion control. With the upgrading of the autonomy level, the ship’s behavior develops in a safer, more efficient, and more environment-friendly manner.
Original languageEnglish
Article number139
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Marine Science and Engineering
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Execution
  • Information perception
  • Intelligent decision-making
  • Mixed waterborne traffic
  • Ship autonomy
  • Ship behavior


Dive into the research topics of 'Review of Ship Behavior Characteristics in Mixed Waterborne Traffic'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this