Autonomous Ships Passing in the Night

The Norwegians are pioneering the use of autonomous ships for short/regional cargo hauling.  Here’s WSJ article.  

This has me wondering about the potential to focus our infrastructure debate in the US away from highways and back to the old days of canals.  Specifically, I’m wondering if we should think about highways as being the principle paths for passenger traffic and local deliveries and then look to “cargo canals” to help move freight silently and cleanly via solar-powered ships and locks.