I had a thought, that it would be pretty to do international shipping with solar powered sailboats. So I looked it up and found that robo-sailboats are a thing already, though in their infancy:
I'm struck by how this sort of thing could be within reach of hobbyists. The ideal POC would be a single-container cargo ship that could use solar power to do GPS, telemetry, and sail management. And go transatlantic or transpacific to prove it.

@cathal sailcargo.org are working on this by reviving an old ship design. Wooden ships also lock up carbon.

@cathal but big container ships are actually super efficient and the easiest gains there are to try and move them onto cleaner fuel I think. International shipping is a huge challenge to regulate, and sail is not reliable for perishable/time-sensitive goods.


@russss Larger ships are still great, but I think there's room "at the bottom" for swarms of smaller vessels. One of the challenges to do this now with traditional boats is:
* Paying people to person the boats
* Paying to fuel all these inefficient little boats
* Little boats can get sunk
If the boats are solar/sail powered, autonomous, and cheap, then these problems don't look so intractable anymore.

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