Offshore Industry News

Florida Summit Features Unmanned Boats

Unmanned boats skimmed the surface of the St Johns River. Autonomous cars navigated around obstacles on roadways nearby. And spectators on a dock watched an aerial drone inspect a large-scale model of a bridge, as several companies came together on 2 December 2015 to showcase vehicles that will help advance the next wave of transportation.


It was the first time that all three forms of autonomous vehicles had been demonstrated on land, in the air and on water at a single outside event in the United States, according to Brent Klavon, president of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, Florida Peninsula Chapter.

The demonstrations at the JAXPORT Cruise Terminal were the focus of day two at the Third Annual Florida Automated Vehicles Summit that brought together approximately 350 attendees from the private and public sectors in 20 states. The summit served to stimulate dialogue, innovation and partnerships that can help create the framework and smooth the arrival of a new generation of automated and connected vehicles.

The Florida Institute of Consulting Engineers (FICE) hosted the summit with the assistance of the Florida Department of Transportation with the goal of keeping the Sunshine State on the leading edge of the new transportation technology. Those technologies are expected to significantly improve safety, mobility and efficiency on the roadways and to move goods and cargo in a similar manner.

The demonstrations included unmanned boats, programmed and supported by Florida Atlantic University and Gulf Unmanned Systems Center, that gave onlookers an idea of how the remotely controlled boats could be used to inspect bridges and piers. For more information about Florida’s Automated Vehicles Initiative, click here.

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