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MIT’s CSAIL Called ‘Roboat’ Is Now Used on Amsterdam Canals, Bringing a Self-Sailing Water Taxi

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) has debuted the “Roboat,” a self-sailing water taxi, in the Amsterdam canals. The technology is an autonomous water vehicle that brings its service to the Netherlands and focuses on clean energy as well as a massive fleet without any driver.

MIT CSAIL’s Roboat

The water taxi from MIT’s CSAIL and Dutch partner schools, including the Wageningen University and Research (WUR) and Delft University of Technology (DUT), helped in this venture. The “Roboat” was five years in the making, and it has already brought its early prototypes that are sure to be working and are meant for full autonomy.

Fábio Duarte is one of MIT’s leads in this venture, and he, together with the team, has developed a self-driving water taxi that can ferry itself across Amsterdam’s canals with little to no supervision from a skipper. And while it would not be fully autonomous, a human operator can monitor its sail on one computer or system and see as many as 50 Roboats in operation.

Read Also: Amazon’s Autonomous Vehicle Company Zoox to Expand in Seattle and Test the Vehicles

Self-Sailing Water Taxis on Amsterdam

Amsterdam’s canals are known to be one of the top tourist destinations in the world, and it is an ideal way to see the city that is standing atop the body of water. The design of Amsterdam makes it ideally a place to use water taxis for faster transportation than land. It can ferry up to 5 people in a single load.

Hence, these self-sailing water taxis that are electric-powered can help in reducing the need for cars and add to the pollution to the environment.

Autonomous Driving Technology on Road and Water

Autonomous Driving technology is widespread all over the world, and MIT is only one research body and contributor to it, with the many different companies behind it that aim for an autonomous world. The focus of MIT’s CSAIL is to partner up with Dutch schools and bring the Roboat to life, a venture that started in 2016 and has now made its full circle.

Not only do roads get the self-driving technology, as the seas and oceans of this world are a massive focus of the autonomous features, with boats being the focus of the improvements. Companies like Sea Machines have developed a tugboat that would be navigating the waters on its own, having more than a thousand-mile journey ahead of it.

Not all focuses are for offshore adventures or destinations like Sea Machines, as the Autonomous Sailing technology from MIT and the Dutch schools that helped in building Roboat have meant it for its canals. While remaining to be more focused on waters in the heart of the city, it would still be a device that would go on its own to ferry people and have little to no human intervention with it.

Related Article: Waymo, Cruise Gets Permit for Robotaxi and Self-Driving Ventures in SF, Receiving Payments for Rides

This article is owned by Tech Times

Written by Isaiah Richard

ⓒ 2021 All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

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