More thoughts after previous post on a boat similar to a self-driving car. Trying out a Google search you get quite different results for "self-driving car" and "self-driving boat". The car is fully automatic, you just tell it where you want to go. "Self-driving boat" though is one you drive yourself rather than being a passenger with a professional crew and/or captain. Most results relate to a canal holiday, so this is not as complicated as navigating at sea.
So a canal could be a good place to test some kit. Probably with a professional crew as well for safety reasons. To start with, can the kit know where you are? What will it tell you about where to go next? Exeter could be a good place to start as the canal is fairly straight. I know the canal through Lancaster is quite bendy and the route from King's Cross to ExCel is complicated. They could be tested later.
I will try to raise this on the Wild Show tomorrow, depends on what else turns up. Could fit in soon though.