The artificial intelligence "captain" of a self-navigating ship hoping to travel 3,000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean is to go to sea this month for testing.
The Mayflower Autonomous Ship (MAS) will use IBM’s advanced AI and edge computing systems to sense, think and make decisions at sea without any human interaction.
An impressive new video visualising the “Mind of the Mayflower” has now been released showing the AI technology in action.
Using the ship’s radar, it detects any and all hazards in its path.
Its “PowerAI Vision” then identifies exactly what these objects are.
The mock journey shows another ship radioing in to the MAS saying there is debris in the vicinity.
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The AI then acknowledges a “course change” is required and is able to identify two alternative routes.
But it also manages to determine the best route for weather by using forecast data from The Weather Company, before sending out a message in response.
A prototype of the AI "captain" will be placed on a manned vessel – the Plymouth Quest – later this month.
It will help determine how the "skipper" performs in real-world maritime scenarios and provide valuable feedback to help further refine the ship’s machine learning models.
The ship will use a fully-autonomous IBM edge computing system to track its course.
“Edge computing is critical to making an autonomous ship like the Mayflower possible,” said Rob High, VP and CTO for Edge Computing, IBM.
“The ship needs to sense its environment, make smart decisions about the situation and then act on these insights in the minimum amount of time – even in the presence of intermittent connectivity, and all while keeping data secure from cyber threats.
“IBM’s edge computing solutions are designed to support mission-critical workloads like the Mayflower Autonomous Ship, extending the power of the cloud and the security and flexibility of Red Hat Enterprise Linux all the way out to the edge of the network, even in the middle of the ocean.”
The Mind of the Mayflower has been in development for two years and involved using millions of maritime images for the AI to identify.
The three hulls of the MAS are currently reaching the final phase of construction in Gdansk, Poland.
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