Event archive

Autonomous vehicles – are they as safe as we are led to believe? Hatfield

  • Lecture
  • Hatfield
  • 20 November 2019
  • 18:45 - 21:30
Autonomous vehicles – are they as safe as we are led to believe? Hatfield

About this event

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 including decision making to mitigate an imminent accident.

A three-year UK Autodrive project ran trials with connected and autonomous vehicles on test track and in Coventry and Milton Keynes, and investigated 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 probably simpler. 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 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 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 from 18:00 before the seminar at 18:45.

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.


Tim Armitage

ARUP, UK Autodrive Project Director (Chairman)

Nigel Wall

Director Climate Associates

Nick Carpenter

Engineering Director, Delta Motorsport Limited

Brian Matthews

Head of Transport Innovation, Milton Keynes Council

Professor Prashant Pillai

School of Mathematics and Computer Science, Faculty of Science and Engineering, University of Wolverhampton

Dr Rodney Day

Dean of the School of Engineering and Technology, University of Hertfordshire (Vote of Thanks)

Event venue

University of Hertfordshire
Weston Auditorium
De Havilland Campus
Hatfield AL10 9EU
United Kingdom

For more information please contact:

Glen Owen

e: [email protected]