Amsterdam tests autonomous boats on its famous canal system

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Typically, when we talk about self-driving vehicles, we are talking about self-driving cars. However, there are other types of autonomous vehicles, including autonomous planes and autonomous boats. Amsterdam is famous for a lot of things, one of them is its canal system and the water taxis that take people all over the city.

Currently, Amsterdam is testing autonomous boats that run on electricity on the many canals that run through the city. Amsterdam has over 60 miles of waterways that accommodate all types of ships and watercraft. The Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions and MIT are collaborating on the Roboat project to develop new ways of navigating waterways without a human controlling the craft.

Officials in Amsterdam say the technology is very relevant and port operations are very complex where there are many ships and ships and many docks and peers. Stephan van Dijk says technology can improve security using stand-alone systems and make it more efficient with a 24/7 operational approach.

A recent demonstration used a 13-foot-long electric boat. The ship must learn to maneuver in traffic operating in the canal system around Amsterdam. The canal system is full of private boats and cruise ships for tourists. Roboats use orange propellers as well as a quartet of battery powered thrusters.

They have a top speed of around four mph and can run for 12-24 hours, depending on the type of battery used and their charging charge. A computer controls the small craft remotely using data processed by cameras and sensors scanning areas around the ship. These cameras and sensors can detect both stationary and moving objects. The ships can also be adapted with a modular design for different uses, including the transport of goods or workers. Developers working on the system say it takes another 2-4 years before it gets perfected.



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