Mayflower Autonomous Ship

The Mayflower Autonomous Ship (MAS) is a highly innovative project to design, build and sail the world's first full-sized, fully autonomous unmanned ship across the Atlantic Ocean.

It is hoped the sailing of this ground-breaking new ship will reflect the voyage undertaken 400 years ago when the original Mayflower left Plymouth to journey to America.

At over 100ft in length the Mayflower Autonomous Research will be powered by state-of-the-art wind and solar technology. The revolutionary trimaran vessel will carry on board a variety of drones through which it will conduct experiments during its voyage.

It was officially launched at a naming ceremony in Plymouth on 16 September 2020, 400 years after the original Mayflower left the maritime city to cross the Atlantic.

However, truly following in the footsteps of the original Mayflower, the MAS unfortunately had to cut short its maiden voyage just days after leaving Plymouth in June 2021.

The teams behind the project - IBM and ProMare - hope to attempt another crossing at a later date.

  • Mayflower Autonomous Ship begins transatlantic crossing to the US

    The Mayflower Autonomous Ship (MAS) has started its historic transatlantic voyage as part of the Mayflower 400 commemorations.

    With no human captain or onboard crew, the research vessel uses IBM’s automation, AI and cutting-edge computing technologies to assess its status, environment and mission and make decisions about what to do next while at sea.

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  • Mayflower Autonomous Ship is revealed to the world

    The Mayflower Autonomous Ship was revealed to the world during a naming ceremony in Plymouth on 16 September 2020.

    A ceremonial bottle of Plymouth Gin was poured on the unmanned ship exactly 400 years after the original Mayflower left Plymouth to sail for America.

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  • It's time for the Mayflower Autonomous Ship

    The World Ocean contains more than half of all life on Earth, covers over 70 per cent of its surface and contains 97 per cent of its water. It regulates the Earth’s climate and acts as a crucial sink of excess heat and carbon.

    If we want to protect it, we have to understand it. If we want to understand it, we need more data about it.

    The Mayflower Autonomous Ship (MAS) is a grass roots initiative led by marine research non-profit ProMare with support from IBM and a global consortium of partners.

    Explore IBM's dedicated MAS website by clicking below.

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  • Track the Mayflower Autonomous Ship

    Track the Mayflower Autonomous Ship's location with IBM's dashboard and interactive map.

    You can also view the ship's current vital statistics and ocean data.

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  • Podcast: How autonomous technology is changing ocean science

    Listen to the Uncharted Podcast by IBM, exploring how ocean science is already been transformed by autonomous technology.

    Discover the huge role the Mayflower Autonomous Ship will have in understanding the health of our oceans.

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  • Transforming our understanding of ocean health

    Despite the damage, it is not too late to save our seas. For the first time in history, we have at our disposal a set of technologies that can completely transform our ability to—in the UN’s words—”gather the data we need, for the ocean we want.”

    In this in-depth article, Rosie Lickorish explains how ocean exploration is labor-intensive, expensive and sometimes dangerous. But the Mayflower Autonomous Ship can change how we approach it.

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  • Mayflower Captains, 400 years apart

    This article compares how the original Mayflower and the new Autonomous version both approach crossing the Atlantic.

    Whether human, or human-designed Artificial Intelligence, each represents a response to an era’s big challenge.

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  • Meet the Mayflower descendant at the forefront of Autonomous Ship project

    Raphael Alden Sacks is a Cloud Transformation Consultant in the IBM Cloud Engagement Hub.

    When he first heard about IBM's involvement with the Mayflower Autonomous Ship, he knew he wanted to play a role. Here, Raphael explains what the project means to him...

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  • Video: Our Ocean

    Built to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the famous transatlantic crossing, the new Mayflower will have no human captain or onboard crew.

    In this short film - titled ‘Our Ocean’ - Andy Stanford-Clark, Chief Technology Officer at IBM UK & Ireland, talks in depth about this amazing project.

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