Self-Captaining Ships Start Their Mutiny

The unmanned “Mayflower” made landfall in Canada and Hyundai’s autonomous tanker vessel completed its first cross-ocean voyage.

Two different (at least partially) self-steering ships completed landmark journeys in the past few days. But both milestones come with big caveats: one encountered problems without any people aboard and ended up shortening its trip, and the other still relied on human judgement about half the time.

The completely crewless Mayflower Autonomous Ship (MAS400) docked in Canada on Sunday. The boat, partially funded by IBM, started out from Plymouth in the United Kingdom on April 27.

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