AI Mayflower Sets Sail

June 16, 2021

The inspiration is in taking that risk to jump off into some new beginning.

IBM’s Brett Phaneuf on the launching of the Mayflower 400 – a robotic ship retracing the historic ship’s voyage.
  • The Mayflower 400 launched Tuesday from Plymouth, England.
  • Its creators hope it will land on the tip of Cape Cod, Massachusetts in about two to three weeks, exactly where its namesake docked in 1620 – that trip took approximately two months.
  • The vessel has no physical captain or crew. It is powered by Artificial Intelligence.
  • Interesting to note: Created by programmers at IBM, the vessel was christened on September 16 of 2020, the 400-year anniversary of the Mayflower setting sail (hence, the Mayflower *400*). However, its journey was delayed because of the pandemic.

    Why It Matters: If it’s successful, this will be the largest unmanned vessel to cross the Atlantic. It also pioneers technologies that could help researchers explore areas of the ocean that are currently out of reach and too risky.

You can follow along with the ship’s journey here.

ABC News article

CNBC Article

Information on the original Mayflower voyage

by Jenna Lee,