World’s First Fully Autonomous Unmanned Ship


Plymouth University in the UK has undertaken a new project for designing and building a full-sized, fully autonomous unmanned ship that can transform the future of shipping.


Plymouth University in the UK is claiming to launch the world’s first project of the fully autonomous unmanned ship.  The vessel is expected to sail across the Atlantic in 2020, after the completion of the testing process that spans for one year.


  • The vessel, called as the Mayflower Autonomous Research Ship (MARS) empowered by renewable energy technology.
  • It is expected to be built in two-and-a-half years.
  • This voyage will commemorate the 400th anniversary of the original Mayflower sailings from Plymouth to the North American continent.
  • The vessel is constructed by Plymouth-based autonomous craft specialists MSubs and designing is carried out by Shuttleworth Design.

Orion Shuttleworth said, “We want the vessel to really capture the imagination. It’s of a scale unmatched by anything in the civilian world.”

Professor Kevin Jones, Executive Dean of Faculty of Science and Engineering at Plymouth University said, “MARS has the potential to be a genuine world-first, and will operate as a research platform, conducting numerous scientific experiments during the course of its voyage.  And it will be a test bed for new navigation software and alternative forms of power, incorporating huge advancements in solar, wave and sail technology.”

This unmanned ship is a part of the university’s ‘Shape the Future’ fundraising campaign.  The project got its initial funding from the University, MSubs and the ProMare Foundation and is seeking for other corporate and private sponsorship for the project.

BBC Credit Link


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