Sea Trials Begin for Mayflower Autonomous Ship’s ‘AI Captain’

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by AIT News Desk,  AiThority

Thursday, Mar 5, 2020

Promare and IBM Engineers Develop New Class of Marine AI to Advance $90 Billion Autonomous Shipping Market

IBM and marine research organization Promare, have announced that a new ‘AI Captain’, which will enable the Mayflower Autonomous Ship (MAS) to self-navigate across the Atlantic later this year, is to go to sea this month for testing. The trial, which will take place on a manned research vessel off the coast of Plymouth in the UK, will evaluate how the AI Captain uses cameras, AI and edge computing systems to safely navigate around ships, buoys and other ocean hazards that it is expected to meet during its transatlantic voyage in September 2020.

MAS will trace the route of the original 1620 Mayflower to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the famous voyage. Sailing from Plymouth, UK to Plymouth, Massachusetts with no human captain or onboard crew, it will become one of the first full-sized, fully autonomous vessels to cross the Atlantic. The mission will further the development of commercial autonomous ships and help transform the future of marine research.

“While the autonomous shipping market is set to grow from $90BN today to over $130BN by 2030*, many of today’s autonomous ships are really just automated – robots which do not dynamically adapt to new situations and rely heavily on operator override,” said Don Scott, CTO of the Mayflower Autonomous Ship. “Using an integrated set of IBM’s AI, cloud, and edge technologies, we are aiming to give the Mayflower the ability to operate independently in some of the most challenging circumstances on the planet.”

This article first appeared at AiThority on March 5, 2020.