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’.