Navy transformations in operational planning, technology implementation, and personnel assignment point in the direction of changing the way warships are designed. Determining how ship maneuvering will be controlled occupies a central part in this transformation process. Replacement of humans with reliable technology and development of the littoral combat ship (LCS) bring to the fore an essential question regarding ship control: do ships need helmsmen? Speech recognition software is becoming more reliable and suitable for high-profile tasks. In 2003, the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) conducted experiments at Marine Safety International in San Diego, California, to investigate the practicability of the technology for this purpose and identify key design elements for future testing.
Professional Note: Can Ships Do without Helmsmen?
By Dr. Monique P. Fargues and Lieutenant Commander Russell Gottfried and Lieutenant Dorothy J. Tamez, U.S Navy