An electric boat steers close to a full-size replica of the 18th century three-mast trading ship Amsterdam at the National Maritime Museum, in Amsterdam,
AMSTERDAM (AP) — Electric cars, meet your competition. Electric boats are on the way.
Amsterdam didn’t have to look very far when searching for a way to ease traffic on its congested streets. The Dutch capital’s canals were used for transport long before cars and trucks powered by polluting internal combustion engines began clogging its narrow roads.
Already steeped in maritime history, the city’s more than 100 kilometers (60 miles) of waterways are to start hosting prototypes of futuristic boats — small, fully-autonomous electric vessels — to carry out tasks including transporting passengers and picking up garbage.
The Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are collaborating on the Roboat project that aims to develop new ways of navigating the world’s waterways without a human hand at the wheel.
Stephan van Dijk, director of innovation at the Amsterdam institute, said the technology is “very relevant in highly complex port operations, where you have a lot of vessels and a lot of ships and a lot of quays and piers. There you can really improve the safety with autonomous systems, but also make it more efficient and into a 24/7 operations approach.”
At a recent demonstration, one 4-meter (13-foot) long electric boat sailed past a full-size replica of the 18th-century three-mast trading ship Amsterdam, providing a snapshot of the city’s nautical past and its future.Continue reading… “Roboats: Amsterdam tests out electric autonomous boats on its canals”