The new autonomous ship will cross the Atlantic Ocean to mark the 400th anniversary of the trip made by English settlers on the first Mayflower.
One year from now marks 400 years since English settlers first traveled to America aboard the famous Mayflower ship. The new project developed by nonprofit organization Promare will replicate the journey, but this time it will be done using a completely autonomous ship running on electricity.
The current plan is to put the new Mayflower in the water in 2020, where it will make a journey of 5000 km, starting at Plymouth in England and finishing in Plymouth, Massachusetts. This will be the largest ship to run completely on autopilot mode.
IBM will supply the technical equipment for the autonomous liner, installing cameras, radars, LIDAR and developing specialized navigational algorithms to control the ship.
Mayflower will also conduct a series of studies in the ocean and become a symbol of a new era in marine exploration - without a captain, pollution-free. However, in addition to electric engines based on solar and wind energy, the ship will still be equipped with diesel engines.
Other than popularizing autonomous marine transport, Mayflower will also serve a scientific purpose. During its trip, the ship will collect data on the number of marine mammals, evaluate the level of plastic pollution and test its own cybersecurity system.
Developers at Promare are planning to install virtual reality cameras on the ship, to give everyone a chance to find out what it’s like to be a part of the Mayflower expedition.
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