by Dan Goodin
08 Jun 2022

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AI, AI, captain! The English Mayflower boat helped the Pilgrim Families open the gates to the New World in 1620. And today, we supervise how a crewless vessel survives the same journey.

The Course the Smart Mayflower Took 

The autonomous vessel set off from Plymouth in the UK. The smart boat was heading to Massachusetts in the USA. Still, it altered its course to reach Halifax in Nova Scotia, Canada — there were technical issues. Overall, the intelligent boat sailed a 2,700-mile distance, equal to 4,400 km. 

Technical Features 

Image: IBM

The Mayflower Autonomous Ship (abbreviated: MAS) is a trimaran that can accelerate up to 10 knots (20km/h). The smart vessel has six cameras and 50 sensors that help it estimate the environment. 100% of navigation was the onboard artificial intelligence’s work. 

Historical Contrasts 

Image: IBM

The original ship was vast if we contrasted it with the smart Mayflower. Of course, the Pilgrim’s vessel could not function without human labor. It was also much slower — the max speed was around 3 knots, aka 6km/h. So, the old Mayflower spent two months wandering the ocean. And her grand-grand-granddaughter underwent the same trip in three weeks. 

The Concept and Scientific Result

The initial concept was about demonstrating how humanity has advanced in technology. The new vessel has become compact, faster, and less exigent. Even though the legendary ancestor’s grandeur heir faced some difficulties, she nailed the quest. The result of this test is a breakthrough in marine engineering. So, maybe the nearest future will bestow us with smart cruise liners? 

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