Partners launch Smart Ships Coalition, unveil autonomy test bed on Great Lakes
A launch ceremony for the Smart Ships Coalition and Maritime Autonomy Research Site was held August 10 at the Great Lakes Research Center in Houghton, Michigan.
The Smart Ships Coalition unites scientists, policymakers, resource managers, innovators, navigators and educators that share a common interest in the advancement and application of autonomous technologies operated in marine environments. Members seek to accelerate the development and implementation of autonomous technologies and operations in marine applications where the state of adoption for autonomous technologies is lagging that of air and ground operations. The Smart Ships Coalition seeks to learn from these industries, and international partner organizations, to provide quicker advancement in the marine environment in the Great Lakes region and U.S. coastal oceans.
The Maritime Autonomy Research Site (MARS), to be located near Michigan Technological University, was announced at the launch ceremony. MARS shall serve as a test bed site where technology developers, university researchers, resource managers and industry will collaborate to navigate current and future challenges in marine technology development, application and workforce creation to meet current and future needs. The test bed will be the first freshwater site of its kind in the world.