IBM and Promara will perform first trials of their AI-powered fully autonomous Ship Mayflower, which is set to cross Atlantic Ocean without human intervention in September.
September mission aims to set the first crewless ship on the historical route across Atlantic Ocean, on which the original Mayflower that transported passengers to the New World in 1620. Mayflower Autonomous Ship (MAS) route Mao starts in Plymouth in England and goes through Isles of Scilly, Mid-Atlantic Ridge, Titanic Site, Cape Cod to Plymouth in the US state Massachussets.
Mayflower Autonomous Ship will be navigated by its onboard artificial intelligence system named “AI Captain” that will rely on real-time data, given that GPS and satellite connectivity will not be always possible, shared Rob High, IBM’s CTO for edge computing:
“Edge computing is critical to making an autonomous ship like the Mayflower possible. The ship needs to sense its environment, make smart decisions about the situation, and then act on these insights in the minimum amount of time — even in the presence of intermittent connectivity, and all while keeping data secure from cyberthreats.”
Apart from its capacity to avoid obstacles and decide on the course depending on weather conditions, “AI Captain” is able to detect other ships, respond to SOS messages from other ships, and communicate verbally with other ship’s crews.
This month “AI Captain” will be tested in U.K.’s Plymouth Marine Laboratory on real-world scenarios, while the solar-powered ship is being constructed in Poland.
According to Don Scott, CTO of the Mayflower Autonomous Ship, September voyage is set to broaden the marine navigation possibilities:
“Many of today’s autonomous ships are really just automated — robots [that] do not dynamically adapt to new situations and rely heavily on operator override. Using an integrated suite of IBM’s AI, cloud, and edge technologies, we are aiming to give the Mayflower full autonomy and are pushing the boundaries of what’s currently possible.”