Ford Self-Driving Boat Pilot to Create Autonomous Shipping RoutesFord Self-Driving Boat Pilot to Create Autonomous Shipping Routes
The pilot, launched by Ford’s Michigan Central and Newlab uses Mythos AI’s self-driving vessel to create a digital twin of Detroit’s Port of Monroe
November 2, 2023
Ford's mobility innovation arm Michigan Central, alongside tech hub Newlab, has launched a new pilot project to automate the shipping industry.
The partners are currently testing a self-driving vessel from Mythos AI in Detroit’s Port of Monroe and the surrounding Great Lakes waterway.
During the eight week pilot project, the self-driving vessel is digitally mapping the underwater landscape around the Port of Monroe, creating a digital twin of the area that in the short term is working to provide cargo ships with greater insight to improve loading/unloading processes.
In the long term, the partners say data collected by the system can be used to train autonomous vessels and create fully autonomous shipping routes.
“Since waterways are constantly shifting, they require more data than other supply chain hubs,” Newlab said in a statement. “Newlab’s partnership with Michigan Central and the Port of Monroe…is enabling Mythos AI to quickly pilot and scale.”
The aim of the project, according to the partners, is to drive sustainability in the maritime industry by rolling out autonomous, low-emission boats, as well as improving supply chain resilience and increasing port efficiencies.
Depending on the results of the pilot, the team said they are hoping to expand the project to other ports and create a digital network of maritime highways.
“The Great Lakes-St Lawrence System is one of the most complex marine highway networks in the world, thus making us a prime test platform for innovative maritime technologies,” said Paul LaMarre, port director for the Port of Monroe. “Newlab’s development process is facilitating new relationships with startups that will allow us to transform our Port facilities into a living lab for the future of logistics.”
“Self-driving vessel technology will reshape maritime logistics,” said Geoff Douglass, Mythos AI’s CEO. “Scaling this innovation to other ports will transform antiquated systems, reduce emissions, and drive economic growth on a global scale.”
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