Navy testing autonomous transit for high speed, cargo ship

The Navy is preparing a high-speed transport vessel to become the first “fully operational US naval ship” to be capable of autonomous travel in a commercial sea lane, a major advancement from the relatively smaller drones the service has previously transited autonomously…

The Navy has been experimenting with autonomous ship navigation in recent years and has successfully sailed its prototype medium-sized unmanned surface vessel Sea Hunter between San Diego and Hawaii multiple times.

But the difference between autonomous travel for Sea Hunter and an EPF is size. The former, clocking in around 140 tons, is a prototype that was built from the ground up with the idea that it will one day transit the ocean with minimal or even no human intervention. The latter is a military cargo ship, designed to move personnel, vehicles, supplies and other materials overseas and is nearly 10 times larger.