In September 2020, one of the world’s first fully autonomous ships will cross the Atlantic with no human captain or onboard crew. The mission will not only commemorate the 400th anniversary of the original Mayflower voyage, but also advance technologies that could transform the shipping industry and help us to gather critical data about the ocean. The Mayflower Autonomous Ship is led by marine research organisation Promare, with IBM as technology partner.
The vessel will carry three research pods containing an array of sensors and scientific instrumentation that scientists will use to advance understanding in a number of vital areas such as maritime cybersecurity, marine mammal monitoring, sea level mapping and ocean plastics. The work will be coordinated by the University of Plymouth, UK, who are at the forefront of marine and maritime research, with support from IBM and ProMare.