How Norway's $25 million 'Tesla of the Seas' aims to take autonomous shipping off-road

"Bryant Walker Smith, an expert in legal aspects of autonomous driving, also commented on the cost of the ships. "So much of modern consumerism depends on the ability to move things vast distances at surprisingly low economic cost," Smith said.

Still, Smith told TechRepublic that there's "cumulatively, a high environmental cost and mixed social impacts." As a result, he said, "automated and solar-powered shipping could therefore have profound economic, environmental, and even social implications.""