IBM’s Mayflower Autonomous Ship to launch from Plymouth, UK

By get distributors

IBM has started trialling its AI sea captain, the Mayflower Autonomous Ship (MAS), ahead of its Plymouth, UK to Plymouth, Massachusetts voyage, this year.

IBM has partnered with and marine research organisation Promare in order to launch a new ‘AI captain’ that will navigate the Mayflower Autonomous Ship (MAS) from Plymouth, UK to Plymouth, Massachusetts later this year. It is confirmed that MAS will trace the route of the original 1620 Mayflower to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the voyage.

Don Scott, CTO of the Mayflower Autonomous Ship said: "While the autonomous shipping market is set to grow from $90BN today to over $130BN by 2030, many of today's autonomous ships are really just automated - robots which do not dynamically adapt to new situations and rely heavily on operator override. 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."


Over one million images

Over the course of the last two years the Mayflower has collated over 2 million images from cameras in the Plymouth Sound in the UK and open source databases. To enable this level of processing, the team used an IBM Power AC922 fuelled by IBM Power9 CPUs and NVIDIA V100 Tensor Core GPUs. These are the same technologies that are used for some of the world’s smartest supercomputers. The ship will not have access to reliable connectivity during this period, and so will rely fully on these computing systems.

"Edge computing is critical to making an autonomous ship like the Mayflower possible. The Mayflower needs to sense its environment, make smart decisions about its 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," said Rob High, VP and CTO for Edge Computing, IBM. "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."

[image: IBM-MAS-7000, The Mayflower Autonomous Ship, from marine research organization Promare, with support from IBM (rendering)]

For more information on all business in Europe, please take a look at the latest edition of Business Chief Europe.

Follow Business Chief on LinkedIn and Twitter.


Featured Articles

Middle East GDP hike of 57% if more women join workforce

By tapping into the potential of next-generation female workers, the MENA region could unlock new economic opportunities, up to US$2 trillion, reports PwC

Dialight supplies LED solutions for industrial safety

Reliance on inefficient lighting technologies are not only harmful to the environment, but also increase injury risk and cost

Top 10: Tech, AI, cloud, cyber speakers at TECH LIVE LONDON

TECH LIVE LONDON events sees technology leaders from IBM, Oracle, Vodafone, JP Morgan, Accenture and the US Space Force among the inspirational speakers

Cyber LIVE adds Vodafone head of cyber Kawalec to line-up

Leadership & Strategy

Musk’s multibillion hostile Twitter takeover – the timeline

Leadership & Strategy

Sustainable moves businesses can make to win customers, IBM