Conducted through the Norway-based classification society’s Veracity data platform, the surveys are carried out virtually and do not require a DNV GL surveyor to travel to the vessel.
Working through an online connection or video streaming link, on board crews can use available digital technology (e.g. smartphones, tablets or cameras) to send documentation, images and video to remote surveyors. This means vessels located in hard-to-reach locations can easily seek support if needed while cutting back on potential waiting times and minimise costs.
However, not all surveys are part of the remote program; inspections such as periodical surveys will still need to be carried out by a surveyor on board the vessel. The types of surveys being offered remotely include: documentation-based surveys, testing systems during normal operation, occasional surveys, and surveys not ordered together with annual surveys.
Technology testing for the service began in 2017 with the first production pilots launching in June 2018. Over 1,000 remote surveys were carried out during the pilot and scaling up phase of the project by Direct Access to Technical Experts (DATE) units located in Hamburg, Singapore, Houston and Høvik, Norway.
All remote inspections are evaluated by a remote surveyor to ensure it meets the same level of assurance as one conducted onboard the vessel.
Additionally, DNV GL has started conducting drone surveys and recently established a new AI research centre in Shanghai in attempts to further enhance its inspection services.
ABS also begun offering remote surveys for select types of inspections in December 2018. Like DNV GL, ABS customers must first request a remote survey online and wait for acceptance, which is granted on a case by case basis.
The American classification society currently offers remote surveys for continuous machinery, tail shaft extension, minor damage, outstanding statutory deficiencies, and underwater examination of offshore units.