Published on January 9th, 2022
Remember seamanship? More than knot tying and line braiding, it was those skills, handed down generation to generation, that kept us safe on the water. Boating is inherently dangerous, but anticipating trouble, and knowing what to do, is seamanship.
However, the societal shift is for technology to replace human skills. Learning to parallel park a car was a learned skill now replaced by dashboard buttons and which now can be found with self-docking boats.
This dumbing down was on further display at the 2022 CES tech show in Las Vegas which is where upcoming consumer electronics are annually unveiled. Now there is a boat that sails on its own.
Hyundai unveiled what it called the first “self-driving” boat, equipped with cameras, depth sensors, and artificial intelligence systems.
“By applying autonomous navigation technology to pleasure boats, users can significantly reduce the time required for mooring and docking, as well as the risk of accidents during operation,” said Do-Hyeong Lim, head of the branch from Hyundai Heavy Industries Avikus who designed the navigation technology.
More technology equals more cost and less skill. Is this a good trend for boating?