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Elon Musk went on Twitter Monday to set the record straight on autonomous ships.
Last week a number of news outlets reported on the Yara Birkeland, a $25 million Norwegian vessel set to reportedly become the first crewless, self-driving ship when it hits water in 2018 (It aims to be fully autonomous by 2020). Nicknamed the “Tesla of the Seas,” the Birkeland will reduce overall emissions and improve safety by removing more than 40,000 truck journeys in urban areas.
That might sound like a goal fit for the ambitions of Elon Musk, but the Tesla CEO isn’t impressed. Replying to an article on the Birkeland posted to Twitter by the Verge, Musk tweeted a sly reminder of a few other self-driving ships that are already operational.
Umm ... pic.twitter.com/bjJ0lNYK35— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 31, 2017
Musk here is reminding us of his two autonomous drone ships, the “Just Read the Instructions” and “Of Course I Still Love You,” which float in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, respectively. While the recyclable rockets that land on top of these ships get all the press, the two drone ships are a marvel of engineering in their own right.
The drone ships can maneuver autonomously using GPS information for positioning within three meters of accuracy. They can also be remotely controlled by a crew of technicians, and feature four thruster engines for 360-degree motion. The “Of Course I Still Love You,” shown in the image Musk posted, entered operational service in June 2015—long before we first heard about the Birkeland.
Phillip Tracy is a former technology staff writer at the Daily Dot. He's an expert on smartphones, social media trends, and gadgets. He previously reported on IoT and telecom for RCR Wireless News and contributed to NewBay Media magazine. He now writes for Laptop magazine.