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HomeINTERNATIONAL NEWSAmsterdam to trial self-driving electric boats

Amsterdam to trial self-driving electric boats

THE NETHERLANDS: Amsterdam is to trial self-driving electric boats to carry out tasks such as collecting rubbish and transporting passengers.

The Dutch capital’s 60 miles of canals have been used for transport since long before cars and trucks powered by polluting internal combustion engines began clogging its narrow roads. Now a project called the Roboat aims to develop new ways of navigating the world’s waterways without a human hand at the wheel.

The Roboats have orange propellers and four thrusters that are powered by an electric battery. They can go about 4mph and can run for 12-24 hours, depending on the battery type and cargo load.

They are steered remotely by a computer, which processes data from cameras and sensors that scan the areas around the vessel, detecting stationary and moving objects. The vessels are modular so they can be easily adapted for different purposes, carrying cargo or workers.

Developers say they still need two-to-four years to perfect the self-steering technology.

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