AI Takes to the Waves: Electric Boats Embrace AI Technology ahead of 2026 California Mandate

**Revolutionizing Maritime Transport: Electric Hydrofoil Boats in California**

**Flying Ferries of Candela and Navier**

The Race to Zero Emissions by 2025 in California

Imagine the possibility of cruising along the stunning California coast, from San Francisco to Los Angeles, in a fraction of the time and cost it takes to drive a car. Picture hopping on and off water taxis to explore picturesque seaside towns like Santa Cruz, Monterey, Big Sur, Pismo Beach, and Santa Barbara, all without the pollution, noise, and rough rides of traditional gas-fueled ships. With the California deadline of achieving zero-emissions by December 31, 2025, Bay Area-based startups are leading the charge in revolutionizing maritime transport.

**Candela: Elevating Maritime Travel to New Heights**

Swedish electric boat manufacturer Candela has established its presence in Sausalito, California, and is developing a cutting-edge catamaran vessel called the P-12 shuttle. This 40-foot boat, capable of accommodating 30 passengers, utilizes foils to lift its hull above the water, allowing it to “fly” at speeds of up to 35 miles per hour, covering a range of 60 nautical miles on a single charge. The company plans to introduce the first P-12 shuttle by the end of summer, with ferry service piloting in Stockholm by early 2024.

Candela’s technology, tested during a thrilling ride on their 28-foot C-8 speed boat, proved its ability to smoothly navigate rough waters, such as those under and beyond the Golden Gate Bridge. The boat’s advanced AI algorithms continuously monitor and adjust the foil stability in real-time, ensuring a comfortable and safe ride. AI also plays a crucial role in expediting product development simulations and identifying maintenance requirements.

Candela, founded in 2014, initially aimed to create a climate-friendly, cost-effective means of transportation for family outings in the Swedish archipelago. Since then, the company has launched its first model, the C-7, as a luxury recreational boat, and introduced the C-8 model in 2021, featuring an extended battery developed in collaboration with Polestar, a Volvo company.

**Navier: Redefining Marine Exploration**

Alameda-based electric hydrofoil boat manufacturer Navier made a significant impact in 2020. The company, co-founded by MIT engineer and roboticist Sampriti Bhattacharyya, has secured over $10 million in seed funding from prominent supporters like Google’s Sergey Brin and the Sustainable Ocean Alliance, funded by billionaire philanthropist Marc Benioff.

Navier’s latest innovation, the N30 Transformer, reimagines the concept of a cabin cruiser. This spacious recreational vehicle, with a length of 30 feet, can comfortably accommodate eight passengers and reach a maximum speed of 35 knots (approximately 40 miles per hour) while offering a range of up to 75 nautical miles. Notably, the N30 boasts twin engines, enabling lateral navigation, a feature demonstrated during a test ride by Navier’s Chief Technology Officer, Kenny Jensen.

The allure of Navier’s electric hydrofoil boats has even attracted celebrities like Grimes and Kenny Jensen, who previously worked on Larry Page’s Kitty Hawk, an all-electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft, emphasizes the quicker time-to-market and fewer regulatory hurdles for flying boats compared to flying cars. With an abundance of waterways available across the world, electric hydrofoil boats have the potential to alleviate congestion on roads and transform marine transportation in the near future.

**All Boats Float: Expanding the Electric Revolution**

Candela and Navier are not the sole contenders in the electric maritime transport market. Green Yachts, in collaboration with the Angel Island-Tiburon Ferry Co., is also working on electrifying short-run ferries. Although neither Candela nor Navier have secured production plants for their commercial lines, both companies recognize the immense potential of their endeavors.

Veronica Cargay, project manager at Candela, explains that the waterways in the Bay Area are currently underutilized due to the limitations of traditional gas-fueled ferries. These ferries often run on slow and inconsistent schedules, leading to insufficient demand to fill their large capacities. Candela’s smaller electric boats, with faster charging capabilities and increased timetables, can run more frequently and accommodate greater ridership. Cargay believes that the electrification of marine transport will be a game-changer for San Francisco and its surrounding areas.

Navier’s Bhattacharyya reassures that autonomous boats are just around the corner, conveying that developing autonomous technology for boats is relatively simpler compared to autonomous cars. With fixed routes from marina to marina and a clear path for safe and reliable navigation, she projects full end-to-end autonomy within a couple of years.

**In Summary: A Bright Future for Electric Hydrofoil Boats**
The emergence of Candela and Navier in the electric hydrofoil boat industry signifies a promising future for zero-emissions maritime transport. Utilizing advanced technology and innovative designs, these startups are on the cusp of transforming travel along coastal regions. With their commitment to sustainability and an increasing demand for environmentally friendly alternatives, electric hydrofoil boats have the potential to revolutionize maritime transport, reduce carbon emissions, increase efficiency, and deliver a remarkable travel experience.

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