An autonomous ship is about to begin trials before it sails across the Atlantic Ocean using only AI and solar energy

The Mayflower Autonomous Ship will collect data on the ocean and marine life, including sampling for plastics. Captained by a robot trained by IBM-designed artificial intelligence, using a million nautical images, it will complete six months of sea trials before its two-week Atlantic crossing.

The Mayflower is scheduled to make an appearance on Wednesday before it officially makes the voyage in April 2021, following the same path that the Pilgrims did in 1620. It will use cameras, radars, IBM Watson, and computer vision technology to navigate.Crews will begin trialing the ship off England’s south coast over the next several months. The actual 3,000-mile voyage will take 12 days rather than the two months it took the Pilgrims.

For anyone wanting to track its progress, the MAS400 website shows the ship’s current location and status, the course of its voyage and samples from its research pods.

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