High-tech UK-US ship launched on 400th Mayflower anniversary

The Mayflower Autonomous Ship during a special ceremony to mark its launch in Plymouth south west England, Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020. Dignitaries, seafarers and scientists gathered in Plymouth, England, on Wednesday to mark the 400th anniversary of the departure of the Mayflower, the ship that carried a group of Puritan settlers to a new life across the Atlantic Ocean. (AP Photo/Susie Blann)

PLYMOUTH, England (AP) — With a splash of Plymouth gin, the U.S. ambassador to Britain has officially launched a ship named Mayflower, 400 years to the day after its predecessor sailed from this English port. The 1620 journey would launch a new chapter of expansion and empire for Europe, and bring disaster for the Native peoples who had lived in the Americas for millennia. The anniversary was marked Wednesday in Plymouth, England with the launch of the Mayflower Autonomous Ship, a high-tech vessel that is powered by the sun and steered by artificial intelligence. It is set to cross the Atlantic next year without people on board to do marine research.