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An idea worth floating?


MIT researchers reckon autonomous boats offer one solution for tackling traffic congestion in cities.

Places like Amsterdam and Venice are naturally the types of locations which could benefit from such a plan. And the MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) and the Senseable City Lab in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning (DUSP), have pioneered a design for autonomous boats – ones that can be 3-D printed to enable mass manufacture.


“Imagine shifting some of infrastructure services that usually take place during the day on the road — deliveries, garbage management, waste management — to the middle of the night, on the water, using a fleet of autonomous boats,” says CSAIL Director Daniela Rus.


Tests of a small prototype of the boat ‘point toward feasible driverless boats used for transportation, docking, and self-assembling into platforms, the researchers say’.

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