Episode 11 – Self Driving Cars

Episode 11 – Self Driving Cars

behind the wheel


In the last decade, autonomous cars have gone from being SciFi fantasy to a commercial reality on our roads, and as with most major technological developments, self-driving cars have been met with a mixture of excitement and fear. Autonomous vehicles have the potential to improve safety on the roads and take over time-consuming and difficult tasks off road, but researchers must be able to demonstrate their safety if we are to entrust these vehicles with more responsibility.

In this episode, I’m talking to two roboticists working to make these vehicles safer, smarter, and more reliable: Dr Richard Hawkins (University of York) and Dr Frederic Labrosse (Aberystwyth University).

Richard Hawkins is Senior Research Fellow working as part of the Assuring Autonomy International Programme at the University of York. He is conducting research into safety assurance for autonomous systems across a range of different application domains. Richard has been a lecturer in safety critical systems engineering at the University of York and also worked for BAE Systems as a software safety engineer.

Frederic Labrosse has been working in the field of robotics and computer vision (mainly in the context of robotics) for many years. His interests are mainly about field robotics, in other words having robots operating in real, unconstrained environments. This spans having off-road robots operating in the hills of Wales (and elsewhere) as well as automated wheelchairs in people’s homes.

Keywords: autonomous, offroad, safety, selfdriving, urban