If a driverless car can navigate heavy traffic and intersections, can a pilotless boat perform complicated maneuvers and avoid collisions? The answer appears to be yes.
During a month-long demonstration that took place last September and October, the Office of Naval Research put four small, unmanned boats into a harbor defense scenario in Chesapeake Bay.
The hope is that the technology will help Navy personnel perform such tasks as intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions and protection and escort missions.
This video from Soundings has more:
Autonomous technology is possible through a mixture of radar, sensors, software and human supervision, which gives boats the ability to sense and navigate obstacles, as well as make decisions to complete objectives.
First-generation autonomous technology also has been tested on scientific research and survey missions — check out this Soundings January 2017 article for more.