The robotic Mayflower ship has set sail from Plymouth as it bids to become the largest-ever autonomous vessel to cross the ocean.
The £1million ship left Plymouth on Tuesday 15 June and is heading towards Provincetown in Cape Cod, which is on the east coast of America.
The grassroots initiative was set up last year and the new Mayflower was officially christened 400 years to the day after the original Mayflower left Plymouth.
The historic ship carried Pilgrim settlers to America - but its new vessel has no crew or passengers onboard.
Built by non-profit marine research organisation ProMare and computing giant IBM, the vessel is packed with instruments to measure ocean health.
It has a "tongue" to taste seawater chemicals and an acoustic payload to listen for whales and dolphins.
"We really need a huge amount of data to be able to actually understand what's going on with the world's oceans, and that's so important," said Rosie Lickorish, an IBM software engineer and oceanographer.
"Using just traditional methods alone isn't going to allow us to actually really scale up how we do that.
"You have to have data to be able to actually understand and recognize and start to adapt and change and influence some of the things that we actually currently do in the ocean."
The coronavirus pandemic delayed construction of the ship but if its journey is successful, the 50ft trimaran could become the largest-ever autonomous vessel to cross the ocean.
"This ship will be the precursor for a lot more vessels like it, so from very, very small to much larger, using different levels of autonomy, both with manned vessels, with unmanned vessels, on fully autonomous vessels," said Brett Phaneuf, the project's co-director.
It is hoped the vessel could herald a new era for automated research ships with plans to build two similar boats including one to work in the Arctic.
"I think you'll start seeing it in short hauls, water taxis and ferries, where you can reduce the crew and increase the safety and maybe get to a point in a few years where they're just fully autonomous systems," said Mr Phaneuf.
How is the boat operated?
Like the original Mayflower, it is powered by the elements - in this case a mix of sun and wind energy, with a backup diesel generator.
A range of technologies helps the boat sense the world around it, including cameras and radar to detect hazards.
Computing and artificial intelligence systems supplied by IBM - which is more commonly used by financial services firms - help it make decisions at sea without human intervention.
The Mayflower Autonomous Ship's journey should take about two weeks. You can track its journey live here.