MAYFLOWER TRIMARAN - 1. The solar-powered research boat will aim to traverse the Atlantic Ocean in 2021 with no humans on board. 2. Sea trials are due to commence off the south coast of England in late 2020. 3. The Mayflower was officially unveiled on September 16th 2020, the 400th anniversary of the original Mayflower departure.
The Mayflower Autonomous Ship (MAS) project is only possible because of the team that makes it happen.
Scott Soutter is part of the IBM technical crew and a shipmate in the USA.
His role on the Mayflower project is leadership on the Computer AI vision technology. He helped engage IBM's product team to work closely with the MAS organization, and enjoyed providing some guidance on ways to further extend this capability in the market.
Once the technology is proven Scott will be looking for ways to improve collision avoidance at sea. He reckons the team will learn tons from the first voyage and hopes to then drive improvements in the technology.
Scott loves the Mayflower project because he thinks IBM will be good at it. AI can simultaneously scan across all wavelengths from the long end of the spectrum with RADAR, through infrared then visual to ultraviolet and beyond. It is a way to give a ship eyes which are always on through a whole host of conditions, making transportation safer and more efficient at sea.
His biggest fear is where an experienced sailor told him something that has stuck with him ever since: "the boat WANTS TO SINK, it's your preparation which keeps it above water."
For example, some conditions like a freak wave can not be completely avoided. He thinks that something like capsize would be a sad end to such an inspiring trip.
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