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Boats are joining the self-driving tech race

Computer scientist Mohamed Saad Ibn Seddik, of Sea Machines Robotics, uses a laptop to guide a boat outfitted with sensors and self-navigating software and capable of autonomous navigation in Boston Harbor. AP Photo/Steven Senne

Cars are not the only vehicles joining the race to become autonomous: self-driving boats could be here within three years, AP reports.

  • "[M]arine innovators are building automated ferry boats for Amsterdam canals, cargo ships that can steer themselves through Norwegian fjords and remote-controlled ships to carry containers across the Atlantic and Pacific."
  • They are "outfitted with sensors and self-navigating software and emblazoned with the words 'UNMANNED VESSEL' across its aluminum hull."
  • They'll still need human oversight, just not on board. And AP notes "some of the world's biggest maritime firms have committed to designing ships that won't need any captains or crews."
  • "Militaries have been working on unmanned vessels for decades. But a lot of commercial experimentation is happening in the centuries-old seaports of Scandinavia, where Rolls-Royce demonstrated a remote-controlled tugboat in Copenhagen this year."