Driverless Vehicles
Richard Hawkins, John McDermid, Catherine Menon, Robert Oates and Matthew Avery (Chair)

  • Saturday 16 June 2018, 12.00PM to 1.30pm
  • Free admission
    Booking required
    Book tickets
  • Ron Cooke Hub, University of York (map|getting to campus)
  • Wheelchair accessible

Event details



Driverless vehicles have been hitting the headlines – autonomous cars, crew-less tankers and parcel delivery by drones. They promise improved freedom and efficiency, but how do we live safely in a world of AI? Our speakers include Catherine Menon of the University of Hertfordshire, Robert Oates of Rolls-Royce, and Richard Hawkins and John McDermid of the University of York. The session is chaired by Matthew Avery of Thatcham Research.

Brought to you in collaboration with the Assuring Autonomy International Programme, which is supported by the Lloyd’s Register Foundation and the University of York.

Assuring Autonomy International Programme

The Assuring Autonomy International Programme is a £12 million initiative funded by Lloyd’s Register Foundation and the University of York to spearhead research, training and standards in the safety of robotics and autonomous systems (RAS). Our vision is to further enable the widespread and beneficial uptake of RAS by overcoming the obstacles to achieving regulatory and public acceptance. 

About the speakers

Dr Richard Hawkins is a Senior Research Fellow in the Lloyd's Register Foundation's Assuring Autonomy International Programme (AAIP) at the University of York, where he is investigating the assurance and regulation of robotic and autonomous systems. Prior to joining the AAIP he was a Lecturer in the High Integrity Systems Engineering (HISE) research group at the University of York where his research focused on the safety and assurance of software systems. He previously worked as a Software Safety Engineer for BAE Systems and as a safety adviser in the nuclear industry.

John McDermid is Professor of Software Engineering and a member of the High Integrity Systems Engineering Group within the Department of Computer Science at the University of York. He was Head of Department from 2006 to 2012 and from 2016-2017. His primary research interests are in high integrity computer systems, especially in safety and security. His work has influenced industrial practice both directly and via standards.

John is the University’s Research Champion for Risk, Evidence and Decision-Making theme. He  leads the £12m Assuring Autonomy International Programme – a collaboration between the Lloyd’s Register Foundation and the University of York – looking at the safety of robotics and autonomous systems (RAS). This programme aims to enable the benefits of RAS to be realised, whilst managing and mitigating the attendant risks. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 2002, and was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2010 New Year’s Honours list.

Dr Catherine Menon is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Computer Science at the University of Hertfordshire. Her research looks at the use of software in safety-critical systems, particularly autonomous systems. She’s currently interested in the interaction between safety requirements, security requirements, ethical imperatives and trust constraints in autonomous vehicles (AVs). More generally, the safety-critical systems she’s worked with have mostly been in the defence and nuclear sector. 

Dr Robert Oates is the Global Software Capability Team Lead at Rolls-Royce. His specialism is Product Cyber Security, with a focus on how to engineer systems that keep the general public both safe and secure. His team work in the aerospace, maritime, and nuclear sectors. As part of his role, he leads the cyber security engineering programs for Rolls-Royce’s autonomous and remotely operated ships. In addition, he is part of a number of specialist engineering groups within the business including the safety assurance of artificial intelligence and the applications of quantum computing. Robert's PhD was awarded by the University of Nottingham’s School of Computer Science in the field of Robotics and Security, and he has a Masters degree in Applied Computer Science and Cybernetics from the University of Reading.


Festival tweets