think boat

Not Sailing

The IBM-sponsored autonomous vessel prototype Mayflower has departed the UK, bound on a transatlantic voyage to Plymouth, Massachusetts.

The AI-enabled, electric-powered vessel was developed by IBM with the non-profit ocean research organization ProMare and a partnership of scientific organizations. It was formally launched in Plymouth, England in September, and after conducting final outfitting and sea trials – and waiting out COVID-related delays and some bad weather – it is now underway.

The Mayflower measures 15 meters in length and weighs five tons, and it has a top speed of 20 knots. It is equipped with a range of scientific instruments to take measurements during its long journey, covering everything from water chemistry to microplastic pollution to whale song. Read on.