Robot ship sets sail for autonomous Atlantic crossing

400 years after the pilgrim expeditions, 530 after Columbus – European robots are sailing for the ‘New World’.

Named The Mayflower ship is getting ready to leave the south coast of England and human crew members behind.

It’s not the ship that left this southwest England port 400 years ago carrying Pilgrim settlers to America. The sleek vessel being readied Tuesday for its official launch has no passengers, no crew — but like its predecessor, an ambitious mission.

The 15-meter trimaran has “no one on board, no captain, no place to eat, no place to sleep,” said Brett Phaneuf, co-director of the Mayflower Autonomous Ship project. “It’s sophisticated artificial intelligence that will captain the ship across the ocean.”

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