The Guardian live chat on September 7, 2017
Birgitte Andersen, CEO, The Big Innovation Centre
Chris Jackson, head of transport, Burges Salmon
Justyna Zander, technology director, NVidia Corporation
David Williams, technical director, AxA
Ben Peters, co-founder, FiveAI
Melanie Smallman, deputy director Responsible Research and Innovation hub, UCL
Nathan Marsh, UK & Northern Europe director, Intelligent Mobility, Atkins
William Sachiti, founder, Academy of Robotics
WHAT WE’LL BE DISCUSSING
The rapid advancement in technology means up to 25% of new vehicles sold in 2035 could be fully autonomous, according to a recent report. In 2016, the government supported plans to begin testing on motorways as early as this year. But as connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs) move on from pilot stage to becoming a reality on Britain’s roads, it’s crucial for policy makers to be clear about how they will be regulated.
The amount of data that will be produced by each autonomous vehicle is staggering. Intel estimates 40 terabytes will be consumed and generated for every eight hours of driving, and a million cars will generate the equivalent of three billion people’s data. That’s thanks to the onboard sensors and cameras, detailed maps and technical information about roads and hazards, which have to be constantly updated. Personal data will also be stored.
But in a world where all journeys will be traced and identified, who should have access to that data – does it belong to the companies developing the vehicles, or the driver? How will this information be controlled, monitored and regulated? What are the ethics surrounding data collection? What consequences will there be for infrastructure and urban planning?
Join us and our panel of experts in the comments section of this page on Thursday 7 September from 12:30-2pm (BST), to discuss these questions and more.
THE CHAT HAS STARTED
Welcome to today’s live chat. In the next 90 minutes, our panel will be discussing how to manage and regulate the data generated by autonomous vehicles as they become more commonplace on Britain’s roads.
Join us as we debate the legislative, ethical and administrative questions involved, and ask who does the data belong to? Please do put your questions to the panel in the comment space below.
GETTING TO GRIPS WITH THE DATA
To kick us off, let’s understand the scale of the issue. What sort of data will be collected by autonomous cars and what provisions need to be made to manage it?
SHOULD WE DEREGULATE IN THE UK TO REMAIN COMPETITIVE?
A great question from the floor:
Would the panel agree that in order for the UK to remain competitive in the CAV space, and encourage inward investment, the government must be prepared to push the boundaries of real-world testing and regulate/de-regulate accordingly?
Our panel is broadly in favour:
WHAT WILL THE IMPACT BE ON INFRASTRUCTURE WHEN IT COMES TO DRIVERLESS CARS?
Infrastructure and the built environment will absolutely be impacted, and we hope positively. These data types can inform the design of roads, car parks, garaging, charging sites etc, as we will know more about how these vehicles will interact with the built environment, and may change how we interact with it. Let’s also remember that this data can inform the three layers of Infrastructure: Physical; Digital and Commercial.
THE NEED FOR DATA ANALYSIS
As a design consultant we may need to use the services/ support of partners that have prior / proven experience in data analytics to be able to glean insights. Is that the approach we may be taking?
A QUESTION OF ETHICS
I am internally challenged by wanting to know that data is being used to protect me, to inform me and to improve my journey experience, versus not wanting to be controlled, policed and manipulated into a behaviour – what are the panel’s thoughts on my dilemma?
KEEPING OUR DATA SAFE
Inevitably, when we talk about data, we need to talk about cybersecurity – what measures will need to be taken to keep that data safe? Whose responsibility is this?
PANELIST BIRGITTE ANDERSEN RAISES AN IMPORTANT ISSUE
The issue of autonomous decisions and control is a huge issue. How does the car make a selection decision if it is choosing between two people in an accident – and how will it decide between a dog and a child?
WHAT SHOULD THE PRIORITIES BE?
To finish, I’d like to ask each of the panelists to give their views on what the government’s priorities should be when it comes to regulating autonomous vehicles and their data?
THANKS TO ALL OUR PANEL AND EVERYONE WHO SENT IN QUESTIONS
The chat has ended. Many thanks to our panel and readers for taking the time to join us today. We hope you got as much out of this discussion as we did and we look forward to exploring the points raised in further depth over the coming weeks.
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