UMS Advocacy Committee

The AUVSI Unmanned Maritime Systems (UMS) Advocacy Committee sets the federal legislative and regulatory priorities for the association based on input and feedback from its membership. The committee develops advocacy goals and policy positions to enable all AUVSI members to speak with a unified voice on behalf of the UMS industry.

Establish the UMS Advocacy Committee as the preeminent industry voice influencing acquisition and regulatory policies and processes. Recognizing the benefit of the full range of UMS across the maritime domain (undersea, sea surface, air and ground), the UMS Advocacy Committee provides a collective voice in discussions with federal defense and security government agencies and Congress that industry can and should play a role in achieving the objective of fielding mission-capable UMS. The committee shall inform legislators and regulators of the capabilities that facilitate the development, experimentation, and deployment of UMS across the multiple vehicle classes and domains.

The UMS Advocacy Committee shall further this goal by: 1) establishing and maintaining a cooperative relationship with congressional members and staff and other appropriate federal government officials; 2) providing a forum to inform Congress of industry’s defense and security capabilitiesin order to deliver UMS to a broader market; 3) advocating for UMS acquisition policies and procedures that promote the appropriate industry roles in the UMS programs of the Department of Defense; and 4) engaging the DoD and other government and commercial entities to provide a collective industry voice in UMS studies, working groups, roadmaps, master plans or documentation.

Facilitate the growth of Unmanned Maritime Systems through active engagement with the government and commercial sectors. The Unmanned Maritime Systems (UMS) Advocacy Committee shall focus on ensuring close and robust relationships with federal defense and civilian government and commercial business. Our shared goal is to maintain a fair and open, morally responsible, and unfettered response to military and commercial needs providing for our mutual benefit.

The UMS Advocacy Committee shall further this goal by: 1) creating elevated awareness of the value of UMS to legislators and regulators; 2) maintaining a close and cooperative relationship with our government and commercial partners; 3) providing a forum for industry to streamline contractual mechanisms; and 4) facilitating the growth of the unmanned systems industry into vertical markets.

Collaborate with ship owners, operators, shipyards, ports, federal maritime agencies, technology developers, classification societies and academia to further integrate advanced automation for maritime platforms into the domestic market. Advanced automation aboard commercial vessels and within the broader maritime industry is progressing rapidly. The “autonomous vessel” industry is quickly developing around the world, predominantly in Europe and Asia, and is being driven by several factors, such as predictions related to a future shortage of viable seafarers, technological advantages in shipbuilding and design, and public and cultural acceptance of innovative technologies. Some of these vessels are poised to commercially operate in an unmanned capacity and at advanced levels of autonomy by 2020 in overseas locations.
The U.S. commercial market is well positioned to take advantage of the 2 potential benefits these emerging technologies may offer and to build on the desire for them by naval services.

The UMS Advocacy Committee shall assist in shaping and enhancing the U.S. advanced automation market in the maritime industry by: 1) partnering with maritime industry stakeholders in the development of a U.S.-based consortium to help shape the operational environment and further domestic acceptance of the technology; 2) providing industry with the necessary conduit to regulators and lawmakers to safely and expeditiously integrate autonomous vessels into the maritime transportation system; 3) developing close working relationships with the key legislators and other government officials; and 4) ensuring that the commercial sector develops the appropriate domestic market for this technology while maintaining a strong industry voice.

Develop the future of the UMS workforce through technology-focused education. The integration of autonomous operations is changing the complexion of conventional manned fleets and port operations. The gradual shift to UMS necessitates progressive educational programs, qualifications, and crew capabilities to properly support the U.S. maritime market. It is critical that technology developers and integrators recognize the impact UMS will have on traditional shipborne requirements.

The UMS Advocacy Committee shall 1) initiate conversations with industry stakeholders to explore development of future curricula that will foster the development of a skilled workforce for evolving industry needs; 2) identify technology skills that are needed in the shipbuilding and design trades, the shoreside services marketplace, and logistics and port operations personnel; and 3) look to international forward-leaning technology preparedness training that may be adopted domestically.

The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) — the world's largest non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of unmanned systems and robotics — represents more than 7,500 members from more than 60 countries involved in the fields of government, industry and academia. AUVSI members work in the defense, civil and commercial markets. For more information, visit