The Microtransat Challenge: a transatlantic race of fully autonomous sailing boats

So far on AutoblogGreen, we have brought you stories on boats which use only alternative forms of energy, like solar or wind, or both. Those boats are energy autonomous; we have brought you cars which are energy autonomous too. We have even brought you cars which need no drivers. But, as far as I know, this is the first time we've brought them all together to bring you energy autonomous boats which need no drivers. So, here they are. These boats are part of the Microtransat Challenge, a transatlantic race of fully autonomous sailing boats which can use nothing but wind power.

As always, there are rules to the competition, and the entries will be judged according to a preset list of criteria. The rules seem pretty easy, but the actual competition is sure to be quite difficult. If it wasn't hard enough to cross the Atlantic using only wind power, it is sure to add a major headache doing it hands-off. I do not look forward to the day when our cars are capable of driving themselves, but I don't have bad feelings when it comes to boats for whatever reason. I guess I wouldn't mind if a taxi had no driver, and these tests of autonomous vehicles are, in effect, trials of just such a technology. Wind powered driver-less ferries and solar powered taxi's sound just fine to me, how about you?

[Source: The Microtransat Challenge via Engadget]

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