This is probably one of the most overlooked transport sectors whenever people talk about machine autonomy, and yet, marine craft are crucial for so many aspects of trade and supply. Fully 90% of global trade is accomplished with ships. And autonomous boats (and ships) represent an opportunity that could again transform how we view transportation.
What use cases can you think of that would change things for the better, even marginally?
Related trivia: Do you know the difference between a ship and a boat? There are multiple definitions. Traditionally during the age of sail, a three-(or more)masted vessel was a ship, and anything less than that was a boat. Another definition is a boat is a marine vessel that can be carried by a larger marine vessel, which is a ship, but that’s a fairly weak definition with a pile of exceptions. The modern definition appears to use a threshold around the 500 ton displacement mark, but again that doesn’t work well because a nuclear sub can be in excess of 5000 tons and submarines are referred to by their crews as “boats”. There’s also some talk about the presence or lack of a fo’c’sle (forecastle). In short: it’s a debate for the ages.