The UK Imperative for Clarity in Safety Considerations for Smart Machines, Robotics and Autonomous Systems (RAS)

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Date(s) - 11/06/2024
5:30 pm - 8:00 pm


The UK Imperative for Clarity in Safety Considerations for Smart Machines, Robotics and Autonomous Systems (RAS)

Institution of Civil Engineers, One Great George Street, Westminster, London, UK


The Hazards Forum and the National RAS Regulations, Standards and Ethics Committee are coming together on June 11th to explore RAS Safety.

Many of the United Kingdom’s significant industrial sectors are advancing capabilities for smart machines, robotics and autonomous systems as an asset for enhancing productivity and growth. Reflecting a multi-billion-pound investment, these systems are proving to be critical to priorities for addressing labour gaps, health & safety, environmental sustainability, carbon net zero, and varied ambitions for international leadership in infrastructure engineering: Innovations cover the maintenance of transport networks; repair of communications satellites, nuclear waste management, manufacturing, tunnelling, farming, modern methods of construction and much more. Organisations driving such initiatives, however, report that the current regulatory landscape is hampering their efforts, with a lack of harmony, overlapping and conflicting requirements limiting supply-chain ability to scale.

This interactive session hosted by the Hazards Forum and the newly established National RAS Regulations, Standards and Ethics Committee is part of a programme to set out the Committee’s developing mandate to catalyse collaboration and clarify what regulators are looking to understand as risk profiles change with the implementation of these technologies. The Committee uniquely brings together a cross-section of regulatory bodies and public infrastructure organisations currently working with RAS technologies and is supported by an industry working group of public and private sector organisations to facilitate shared understanding and consistent approaches to safety and technology readiness assessments. We have assembled a panel of experts who are contributing to this effort to share their perspectives and prompt discussion exploring effective assurances that can develop trust and accountability, and thereby facilitate a competitive UK regulatory landscape for technology innovation.  

This endeavour presents a significant opportunity to not only advance proactive approaches to regulating RAS, but also pioneer ways of assessing broader emerging and novel technologies, including AI, dynamic control systems and software, sensing technologies, and others.

Chaired by the Office for Nuclear Regulation’s Marc McBride, Chair of the Hazards Forum Interest on Emerging and Future Technology; with the panel facilitated by Professor Samia Nefti-Meziani, OBE, Birmingham University’s Chair in Robotics and AI ,the evening is set out to assure interactive and informative discussion.

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