AI-powered Mayflower, beset with glitch, returns to England


The Mayflower 400, a sleek autonomous trimaran retracing the 1620 journey of the famous English vessel, had to turn back on June 18 to fix a mechanical problem. — AFP

PLYMOUTH, England: The Mayflower had a few false starts before its trailblazing sea voyage to America more than 400 years ago. Now, its artificial intelligence-powered namesake is having some glitches of its own.

A sleek robotic trimaran retracing the 1620 journey of the famous English vessel had to turn back on June 18 to fix a mechanical problem.

Nonprofit marine research organisation ProMare, which worked with IBM to build the autonomous ship, said it made the decision to return to base “to investigate and fix a minor mechanical issue” but hopes to be back on the trans-Atlantic journey as soon as possible.

With no humans on board the ship, there’s no one to make repairs while it’s at sea.

Piloted by artificial intelligence technology, the 50-foot (15-meter) Mayflower Autonomous Ship began its trip early Tuesday, departing from Plymouth, England, and spending some time off the Isles of Scilly before it headed for deeper waters.

It was supposed to take up to three weeks to reach Provincetown on Cape Cod before making its way to Plymouth, Massachusetts. If successful, it would be the largest autonomous vessel to cross the Atlantic.

There is some historical precedent for the malfunction: The original Mayflower that carried Pilgrim settlers to New England was supposed to set sail in the summer of 1620 but twice turned back to England because of a leaking problem affecting its sister ship, the Speedwell. – AP

Article type: free
User access status:
Join our Telegram channel to get our Evening Alerts and breaking news highlights

Autonomous ship

   

Next In Tech News

Amazon-backed Rivian in talks with ministers over UK factory -Sky News
Twitter is offering a bounty to help root out its algorithmic bias
World's first commercial re-programmable satellite blasts into space
Google wants to ban 'Sugar Daddy' apps.
'Papetura' is puzzle game made using footage of a real paper world
Four things that will save you if your phone gets stolen on holidays
Amazon deleted 200 million fake reviews - can we believe them now?
Twitter launches competition to find biases in its image-cropping algorithm
Musk says "Epic is right," takes sides in battle with Apple
U.S. watchdog rejects Blue Origin protest over NASA lunar contract

Stories You'll Enjoy


Vouchers