Unmanned vehicles are in something of a renaissance. UAVs have been patrolling the skies of militarily sensitive regions for more than a decade, and regulatory frameworks – to say nothing of the technology – are being hashed out between governments and manufacturers of autonomous road vehicles as we speak, including in Australia.
Self-driving fleets of transport and public services vehicles have been mooted in the name of safety and efficiency, and unmanned mining and agriculture vehicles are already in use.
One area we don’t hear much about however is in unmanned sailing. After an estimated 11 billion tons of goods were shipped by sea in 2021 alone, it’s an area you’d think was ripe for development, especially as the ocean is still so little understood when it comes to its influence on global climates and ecosystems.
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