A hull designed in Gdansk, Poland set off for Plymouth in the UK on Tuesday (March 24), the first stage in a process that will see a ship self-navigate across the Atlantic to mark the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower voyage.
The original Mayflower ship transported 102 British settlers from England to America. They would become the first pilgrims to land there.
IBM and marine research organisation Promare have created the Mayflower Autonomous Ship which will use an 'AI Captain' to recreate the voyage with a 21st century twist.
"It's a progress of mankind in engineering in a way that Mayflower was a wooden, commercial, lightly armed sailing vessel at that time and this Mayflower is highly-sophisticated trimaran with even more sophisticated interior," said Goetz Linzenmeier, chairman and founder of Aluship, which built the hull in Gdansk.
The voyage across Atlantic is planned for September and it will likely become the first full-sized, fully autonomous vessel to cross the Atlantic, the organisers say.