Brett Phaneuf: November 27, 2019

The Mayflower, Autonomous Ships & the future of the Ocean

During Thanksgiving week, learn how the upcoming 400th anniversary of the Mayflower Voyage has sparked the innovation of an autonomous ship that will cross the Atlantic in 2020 – this time with no captain or crew

 

 

 

Brett Phaneuf

Managing Director of the Mayflower Autonomous Ship

 

To cross the Atlantic with an unmanned, autonomous ship will push technology to its limits. Like the Mayflower in 1620, we’ll also need a lot of help and some good luck.

 

Almost 400 years ago, the Mayflower set sail from Plymouth, England on a voyage that would change the world. Over 100 passengers who arrived 2 months later would help lay the foundations of modern America. To mark the 4th centenary of the Mayflower voyage, another vessel will follow in its wake across the Atlantic. At the IBM THINK Summit in London, IBM recently announced that it is coming on board a project that is set to transform mankind’s relationship with the ocean.

 

This time its crew and passengers will be replaced with advanced technologies instrumentation to help scientists perform research vital to the future of our oceans. In September 2020, the Mayflower Autonomous Ship (MAS) will take to the sea. Built by ProMare, a non-for-profit marine research organization, and with IBM AI and other advanced technologies at the helm to help avoid hazards, MAS will be one of the first unmanned, full-sized and fully-autonomous ships to cross the Atlantic.

 

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) estimates the value of the ocean economy could exceed $3 trillion by 2030, providing more than 40 million jobs. The Mayflower Autonomous Ship project aims to pioneer a cost-effective and flexible approach for gathering data that will help safeguard this vital resource especially from pollution, over-exploitation and the effects of global warming.

 

MAS will carry three research pods containing an array of sensors coordinated by the UK’s Plymouth University that scientists will use to advance understanding in a number of key areas from maritime cybersecurity to ocean plastics.

 

The training of the ship’s Artificial Intelligence system is well underway using real shipping data and images. MAS’s hull is currently under construction in Gdansk, Poland before being transported to Plymouth, UK early 2020 for the outfitting of navigation equipment. Sea testing will begin in the summer ahead of departure in September 2020, marking 400 years since the departure of the original Mayflower.

 

On Wednesday November 27th Brett Phaneuf, Managing Director of the Mayflower Autonomous Ship will be available to discuss the autonomous ship, how the technology works and what it means for the next wave of ocean research.

 

MORE ABOUT BRETT PHANEUF

Brett Phaneuf, Managing Director of the Mayflower Autonomous Ship

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/brett-phaneuf-73b0a387/?originalSubdomain=uk

 

Brett Phaneuf is the founder and chief executive of Submergence Group LLC (USA) / M Subs Ltd (UK) and through his office in the United Kingdom overseas the design and production of manned and unmanned, underwater vehicle systems. A serial entrepreneur, Mr. Phaneuf has recently turned his attention to machine learning and artificial intelligence; a new company (Marine Ai) has been spun out from M Subs Ltd with the goal of creating cognitive AI to enhance maritime capabilities by drawing on decades of experience in manned and unmanned marine vehicle design, manufacture and operations, coupled with vast experience in automation and autonomous systems software architecture, and computer vision expertise. Brett is also one of three founding board members of ProMare, a non-profit (501c3) public charity founded in 2001 to promote marine exploration throughout the world.  

 

Through the confluence of these varied and interrelated fields of endeavor, Brett is leading the development of the Mayflower Autonomous Ship, which will sail from Plymouth UK to Plymouth US, in commemoration of the 400th anniversary for the original Mayflower sailing in September 1620. The Mayflower Autonomous Ship is a ProMare project but will draw on the expertise resident in Submergence Group, M Subs Ltd, Marine Ai, ProMare, and many other private and corporate sponsors.

Prior to a career in the marine technology and exploration world, Brett studied Physics before switching to Archaeology, and then worked as a classical archaeologist on ancient sites in North Africa. His love of physics, technology and history lead him to marine archaeology and the founding of ProMare, through which numerous underwater archaeological research programs have been carried out in the past two decades.  

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Produced for: IBM

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