Mayflower ... an autonomous ship trying to cross the Atlantic
Mayflower ... an autonomous ship trying to cross the Atlantic

The independent research vessel Mayflower has had to postpone its transatlantic voyage (originally scheduled for this month) until April of next year due to its development delay due to the coronavirus.

The University of Plymouth demonstrated its unmanned and fully autonomous research vessel for the first time in 2017.

The independent 15-meter Mayflower research vessel was built to overcome automatic transmission limits while collecting marine data.

ProMare operates the independent research vessel Mayflower and IBM is the primary technology partner.

Autonomous research vessels powered by solar energy will begin testing on the south coast of England in the coming weeks.

It will be officially unveiled on September 16, which coincides with the 400th anniversary of the British spacecraft's (Mayflower) flight in 1620.

The autonomous research ship will then make several trips and missions over the next six months prior to the transatlantic flight in April 2021.

During this transatlantic transport, the modern ship follows the original route of the British ship (the Mayflower) from Plymouth to Cape Cod.

According to IBM, the ship relies on an integrated AI captain who uses computer vision, automation software, and Watson technology (IBM's popular AI platform).

The ship's operator told her where to go, then they took into account weather, ocean currents, collision conditions, and other variables to determine how to get there.

Autonomous ships can interact with marine traffic in real time using a combination of radar, cameras and an Automatic Identification System (AIS) system that transmits information such as the longitude and latitude of "Mayflower" to "other ships".

While AI cannot control all aspects of autonomous ships, it does play an important role in their operations.

There were no staff, shelters, bathrooms, kitchens, beds, etc. on board, but scientific experiments were conducted. Several organizations have expressed hope that the Mayflower will conduct experiments at sea.

The first 30-meter Mayflower flight takes 66 days to travel from the UK to the US. However, depending on weather conditions, the new flight will take 2-3 weeks.

Research firm Allied estimates that the automated transport market will reach $ 135 billion by 2030, and IBM is looking at where and how to use its technology.

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