This year it is 400 years since Mayflower set off for the new world, the United States. As a tribute, IBM is now launching, together with non-profit ProMare, a robotic AI vessel that will take shipping into the future.
The research vessel, called the Mayflower Autonomous Ship or MAS , is a self-propelled trimaran. On Wednesday, the ship was launched off Plymouth, England, where Mayflower 1620 began its voyage to America. The launch followed two years of construction and training to fine-tune the AI models. The ship's "AI Captain" can "feel" his environment and make critical decisions when navigating the seas without a crew or a traditional human captain on board.
"The ability to scan the horizon for possible dangers, make informed decisions and change course based on real-time data means that Mayflower Autonomous Ship has more in common with a modern bank than its 17th century name," says Andy Stanford-Clark, CTO at IBM UK and Ireland. in a press release .
MAS will spend the next six months testing at sea and conducting various research missions and voyages before attempting to cross the Atlantic in the spring of 2021. MAS's transatlantic voyage will be based on a similar path and in the same pioneering spirit as Mayflower did in 1620.