US computer giant IBM is partnering with marine research organisation ProMare and the University of Plymouth on the Mayflower project, with the project set to use IBM’s artificial intelligence, servers, cloud and edge computing technologies to make its 5,000+ km journey across the North Atlantic next year, the company announced in a press release Wednesday. The 15-metre long wind, solar and diesel turbine-powered ship is expected to independently navigate its way from Plymouth, England to Plymouth, Massachusetts starting 6 September 2020, and avoid hazards including other ships, buoys, and various natural and man-made obstacles using onboard radar, automated identification systems and LIDAR (light detection and ranging), a technology used in driverless cars. Work on the project began in 2014. “If successful, it will be one of the first self-navigating full-sized vessels to cross the Atlantic Ocean and will open the door on a new era of autonomous research ships,” the release said. IBM Systems Europe provided computer animation of the vessel and its layout, which is said to include three research pods containing scientific instruments expected to engage in “maritime cybersecurity, marine mammal monitoring, ocean microplastics analysis and sea-level mapping.” Designed by Whiskerstay Ltd and M Subs, the Mayflower’s hull… Read full this story
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