IBM tech powers AI for Mayflower Autonomous Ship Project

An autonomous ship is being built to help reduce the cost of ocean research. How else can the Mayflower Autonomous Ship Project impact future societies?

In a bid to deepen our understanding of the oceans, nonprofit ProMare, the University of Plymouth, the Human Interface Technologies team at the University of Birmingham, and IBM worked together to build the Mayflower Autonomous Ship.

Named after the original Mayflower voyage which set sail from Plymouth UK in September of 1620 and carried with it 100 passengers and 30 crew members, the autonomous Mayflower will sail in September 2020. It was designed to have no humans on board. The ship will need to  make its own decisions in avoiding ocean hazards while it crosses the Atlantic Ocean. The ship will collect samples, as well as carry various research pods for monitoring marine mammal populations, sea mapping, testing oceans of micro plastics, among others.

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