A free-to-attend prestige seminar at the University of Hertfordshire will take place on 20 November 2019.

Autonomous or driverless vehicles have the potential to reduce the 1,770 deaths, nearly 25,000 serious injuries and 138,500 lesser casualties each year on UK roads. Those vehicles depend on sensors, cameras, radar, LIDAR, communication with each other and software capable of decision making that can mitigate an imminent accident.

A three-year UK Autodrive project ran trials with connected and autonomous vehicles on a test track - and on the streets of Coventry and Milton Keynes - to investigate public engagement, legal and insurance, and safety and security issues. There have been trials of driverless delivery vehicles in urban areas, and plans for driverless buses at airports. Also, UK software developers FiveAI and Oxbotica are working towards autonomous taxis, initially on fixed routes.

Driverless technology is further ahead in other countries where road layouts are less complex. In North America, motor manufacturers such as Ford, Tesla and BMW, and software developers such as Waymo and Uber, have been running trials of their technology. Jaguar Land Rover is developing driverless taxis using Waymo’s technology. For freight transport, motor manufacturers such as Mercedes have run trials with trucks working in autonomous mode.

There have been a few fatal accidents in North America with Uber and Tesla vehicles in autonomous mode, so safety and legal concerns are delaying the wider deployment of autonomous vehicles. The latest models have more cameras and sensors than on those that have been involved in accidents. Guidance notes, rules and codes of practice are starting to appear.

This seminar plans to address:

  • Status of technology
  • Safety, social, legal and ethical considerations
  • Impact on infrastructure

This evening seminar will be the twentieth annual prestige seminar organised by EMSTA CIC as a joint event with various professional engineering and science institutions.

This free event is hosted by the University of Hertfordshire and will commence with light refreshments and networking in an informal environment.  

An important element of the prestige seminar is the final chaired discussion when the audience can put forward their questions to the speakers and debate some of the issues discussed.

How do I attend? Entry is free, but advance registration is required. 

Book online at https://bookwhen.com/emsta. 

For more information visit www.emsta.org.uk/seminars.php 

We would be particularly pleased if you brought a young person to this event: they may be involved in the widespread use of autonomous vehicles, and the attendant legal, safety and social aspects.

To discuss EMSTA’s events and STEM project support, contact Roger Boddy, Chairman EMSTA by phone: 07956 109337 or by e-mail: chairman@emsta.org.uk.