Game-changing Sensor and AI System for Plymouth Sound - 15/01/2019


M Subs has installed a ‘game-changing’ sensor system with connected artificial intelligence (AI) and machine-learning technology around Plymouth Sound, UK, as part of the vision to turn the city into a centre of excellence in maritime autonomy and unmanned vehicles. The Plymouth-based company will operate a secure network of cameras, radars, and other sensors which will provide situational awareness and communications with the unmanned vehicles operating out of the city’s harbour.

The system will also provide the command & control of unmanned vehicles using the nearby ranges at sea.  Data from the network is being collected and analysed by machine learning programmes by M Subs’ growing AI team, with the assistance of Thales, and a leading global corporate partner in the field of machine learning and artificial intelligence. 

The results of this work will finalise development of the computing system at the heart of the maritime AI system to navigate the Mayflower Autonomous Ship across the Atlantic Ocean in celebration of the 400th anniversary of the original Mayflower sailing in 1620.

Potential uses of AI

Brett Phaneuf, the MD of M Subs, said “Although our initial interest was in the application of AI to assist the warfighter, our burgeoning relationship with Thales and our US-based AI partner, has opened our minds to the innumerable potential uses of AI. Combine this with the expanding data collection facilities we have in Plymouth Sound, we are well placed to lead the development of this game-changing technology.”

In October 2018, Thales announced it was opening a new maritime autonomy centre at Plymouth, with an aim to build relationships with industry and academia to operate unmanned vessels out of the Sound.

Two Thales USVs entering Plymouth Sound.
Two Thales USVs entering Plymouth Sound.

Last updated: 22/01/2019