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What the first 100 years of the railways can teach us about the first 10 years of self-driving road vehicles

Lookup NU author(s): Emeritus Professor Tom Anderson, Dr Mike Parsons


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Our world is subject to dramatic change: the war in Ukraine, climate change, the threat of new infectious diseases and a new monarch in the UK. Life is having to adjust to this new normal of ‘shock’ changes. The new applications in system safety are no less profound: air taxis, offshore grids, remote air traffic control centres, UK space launches, virtual hospital wards, battery-electric trains, self-driving vehicles ... the list is extensive and growing.System safety practices and approaches must adapt to deal with these new applications and new technologies, especially in areas related to Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning: object recognition and autonomous decision making, so crucial to new air, marine and road vehicles.Most of us now cannot understand the complexity inside systems which ensure safety, and we cannot sensibly be relied upon to take over if the systems fail suddenly. Hence systems need to be both fail-safe, with multiple levels of resilience, and to be able to explain their decisions. Justification is everything.Our horizons are expanding: everything we do now should be considered for impact on the environment, carbon release, wider human health and personal well-being.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Anderson T, Parsons M, Rivett R

Editor(s): Parsons, M;

Publication type: Book Chapter

Publication status: Published

Book Title: The Future of Safe Systems: Proceedings of the 31st Safety-critical Systems Symposium, 7-9th February 2023, York, UK

Year: 2023

Pages: 21-55

Print publication date: 07/02/2023

Acceptance date: 01/01/2023

Publisher: Safety-Critical Systems Club

Place Published: York


Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

ISBN: 9798363385520