The trial will be conducted in March, on a manned research vessel off the coast of Plymouth in the UK, and the partners will understand how the system uses cameras, AIS and edge computing systems to safely navigate around ships, buoys and other ocean hazards that it is expected to meet during its transatlantic voyage in September 2020.


Also, the trials will be conducted for about two months on the Plymouth Quest with the ship's human captain and crew at the helm. It is stated that the first stage of testing, the Mayflower AI Captain's interference engine will receive input from the Quest's radar, AIS, GPS and navigation system, as well as data about visibility. Also, from April, the system will have cameras, computer vision, edge and autonomy capabilities installed.

Don Scott, CTO of the Mayflower Autonomous Ship commented that

Using an integrated set of IBM's AI, cloud, and edge technologies, we are aiming to give the Mayflower the ability to operate independently in some of the most challenging circumstances on the planet.

MAS will follow the same route with the original 1620 Mayflower to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the famous voyage.

Concluding, beginning its journey from Plymouth, UK to Plymouth, Massachusetts with no crew onboard, MAS will become one of the first full-sized, fully autonomous vessels to cross the Atlantic.