Witness the creation and maiden voyage of the Mayflower Autonomous Ship (MAS), the first fully autonomous vessel. Created by Promare and partners, this unmanned vessel runs on solar energy and uses IBM AI, automation, cloud and edge technologies to provide a safer, more cost-effective alternative to manned ships. Designed for long-term sea exploration, MAS will gather ocean data for critical issues like global warming, pollution and impacts on marine life. See the story unfold through a multi-part docuseries.

A Change in Tide

Watch previous episodes

Episode 1: Request Permission to Come Aboard

See how MAS and its control systems were developed and what autonomous shipping and exploration means for shipping companies, marine research and national security missions. See interviews with Brett Phaneuf, Founder/Chief Executive, Submergence Group LLC (USA) / M Subs Ltd. (UK) & Ray Spicer, VP, Defense and Intelligence, IBM Federal.

Episode 2: Captain’s Log

Watch how the “AI Captain” of MAS constantly re-evaluates its surroundings through machine learning and updates the ship’s course using autonomous systems for collision avoidance and more. Learn how MAS was conceptualized to use all available data sources to sense, think and make decisions at sea, even with limited connectivity. Meet the ProMare and IBM experts.

Episode 3: All Hands on Deck

Learn about the research technology behind MAS and the scientists that need data. Watch IBM engineers work with autonomous technology and learn about their challenges and how these autonomous operations could transform the future and reduce human error. See how weather and climate can affect maritime navigation and ships at sea.

Episode 4: From Ashore to Afloat

Witness the sea trials in Plymouth as the Mayflower Autonomous Ship faces ocean conditions for the first time. As the team test drives the remote-controlled ship in the harbor, we’ll learn the ins-and-outs of training a vessel using sensor technologies and automation, and the reality of working outside of a lab. Join us to see how the Mayflower Autonomous Ship is truly the ultimate edge device.

Episode 5: Shore in Sight

The AI Captain of the ship has been trained and sea trials are underway but the MAS team is feeling the pressure. There is a lot left to do before the ship's journey across the Atlantic and every moment counts. We’ll check in with the tech and research teams before their big mission to see how they are feeling and discuss the key AI and automation technologies that are going to make this voyage possible.

Episode 6: Rocky Waters

This is it. They’ve run the scenarios, trained the AI, selected the weather window. The years of hard work & preparation have led up to this moment: the Mayflower crossing the Atlantic. But what happens when you’ve done everything right but things still go wrong? The team’s first attempt gets cut short. But the journey is far from over.



IBM AI solutions support MAS remote operations and learning by the AI captain


MAS uses automation to support autonomous operations

Edge Computing

IBM Edge Computing helps to automate MAS and provide connectivity

Learn about the creation of the Mayflower Autonomous Ship and how ProMare and IBM are using AI, automation, edge and cloud technologies to change marine exploration and shipping.