Trials are being carried out of a motor boat that can see, think, and operate completely on its own.

Trials are being carried out of a motor boat that can see, think, and operate completely on its own. The 40ft boat uses radar, cameras, GPS, inertial measurement units and VHF-based AIS not only to navigate safely without human intervention, but also to ‘see’, chase, and investigate other craft.

The Autonomous Maritime Navigation Unmanned Surface Vehicle (AMNUSV) is being developed by the US Naval Surface Warfare Center in collaboration with Maryland-based Spatial Integrated Systems. During initial trials in Chesapeake Bay, the AMNUSV operated at over 35 knots and successfully intercepted a 30ft target boat.

Further development is likely to include installation of laser radar (LIDAR) and 360-degree cameras to improve the vessel’s ‘vision’. Customs and border security forces are sure to monitor the project’s progress.