We may not have self-driving cars quite yet, but autonomous boats are becoming more widespread. The Netherlands has trialed electric and fully autonomous Roboats for passenger transportation and waste collection in its canals. Developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions, these self-driving boats can also be connected to create floating docks and bridges. Scroll through the gallery to see more pioneering autonomous boats.
MIT / AMS Institute
Fitted with six AI-powered cameras and 30 onboard sensors, the Mayflower 400, an autonomous research vessel designed to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the original Mayflower voyage, sailed from Plymouth, UK, across the Atlantic Ocean to arrive in Massachusetts, US, in 2022.
HD Hyundai says its Prism Courage was the first large ship to cross the Pacific Ocean autonomously. In 2022, the 134,000-ton commercial tanker traveled from the Gulf of Mexico through the Panama Canal to South Korea's western Chungcheong Province in 33 days.
The Yara Birkeland has been described as the world's first zero-emission, autonomous cargo ship. The ship traveled from Horten to Oslo in Norway in 2021 and there are plans for it to be regularly operating without a crew in the next few years.
Knut Brevik Andersen
An autonomous electric ferry called Zeabuz is being trialed in Trondheim, Norway. It can carry 12 passengers, as well as bicycles, and charges whilst docked. There are also plans for the ferry to operate in Stockholm, Sweden.