Want to witness a historical moment?
Watch live as the IBM Mayflower, the first fully autonomous ship, crosses the distance from Plymouth, England to Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
This is a completely AI-controlled ship, a crewless, fully autonomous trimaran that was built by non-profit company ProMare and piloted by IBM’s AI.
“Taking the human factor out of the Mayflower has allowed us to completely reimagine the design. Instead of thinking about eating, sleeping and sanitation, the Mayflower’s engineers were able to focus purely on the mechanics and function of the ship,” say the makers.
To mark the historic event, IBM allows anyone to virtually join this 3-week trip that started on June 15th.
You can see the ship’s mission control, from weather to speed and energy, or actually view images from the live webcams fitted on the sheet.
As of writing time, the IBM Mayflower was making its way flawlessly through some choppy waters.
To showcase what the future of marine navigation might look like, the ship is also fitted with tools to help it gather valuable data.
Taking advantage of extra space freed by having no crew, the IBM Mayflower carries a lot more equipment than a regular ship.
There’s a fluorometer for detecting algae and phytoplankton, a water sampling array and an underwater microphone setup that will be used to research whales and marine mammals.
If you want to know more about this project, visit the official website – it’s full of fantastic material.
There aren’t just the live webcams on the IBM Mayflower, but a lot of technical docs and even a fascinating podcast series.