Latest announcement for Plymouth’s strengthening maritime autonomy ecosystem

Thales UK has welcomed the announcement by MSubs about a significant technology investment around Plymouth that further enhances the city’s reputation for operating world class maritime autonomy operations.

MSubs announced on 10 January it has installed a ‘game changing’ sensor system with connected artificial intelligence (AI) machine-learning technology around Plymouth Sound as part of the vision to turn the city into a centre of excellence for unmanned vehicles.

Plymouth-based M Subs, a global leader in the development of manned and unmanned underwater vehicles, 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 MSubs’ growing AI team, with the assistance of Thales and a global and corporate partner leading 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.

Brett Phaneuf, Managing Director of MSubs, says: “Although our initial interest was in the application of AI to assist the war fighter, 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 the Plymouth Sound are we are well placed to lead on 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 Plymouth Sound.

Plymouth based M Subs Ltd are recognised as the UK’s leading manufacturer of military submersibles.

You can find out more about Thales’s agreement with MSubs here.