Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton
Public Policy|Southampton

Trustworthy Autonomous Systems (TAS) Hub

Project overview

The UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) TAS Hub, led by Electronics and Computer Science’s Professor Sarvapali Ramchurn, establishes a collaborative platform for the UK to deliver world-leading best practices for the design, regulation and operation of ‘socially beneficial’ autonomous systems which are both trustworthy in principle, and trusted in practice by individuals, society and government.

Sitting at the centre of the £33M Trustworthy Autonomous Systems Programme Programme, funded by theUKRI Strategic Priorities Fund, the Hub assembles a team from the Universities of Southampton, Nottingham and King’s College London who will engage with over 60 project partners in areas ranging from computing and robotics to social sciences and the humanities.

TAS Logo

The Hub will:

  1. Deliver a coherent and responsive research programme for the TAS community to ensure the TAS programme generates world-leading research.
  2. Cohere a multi-disciplinary academic community and industry experts through projects to address both social and technical challenges in the design, regulation and operation of trustworthy and socially beneficial autonomous systems1.
  3. Support dialogues with a diverse set of stakeholders, including government, industry, and the public to:
    1. define the research challenges we will address.
    2. inform their decisions and present the risks they may be exposed to.
    3. respond to the UK’s economic, environmental, and social challenges as they arise.
  4. Train the next generation of TAS designers ranging from legal experts to engineers that are well versed in responsible innovation.
  5. Create an inclusive environment open to a diversity of views, and encourage creative, adventurous, and responsible research and innovation.

These initial three challenges are:

We will need to work across disciplines and sectors, and take an inclusive approach, to ensure that autonomous systems are trustworthy by design and trusted by individuals and the wider society.

Project outputs


Drawing on both the policy and the academic literature, policy landscapes were produced by researchers at the Universities of Southampton, Nottingham and King’s College London, where the current landscape was reviewed, the potential future applications of these technologies was considered, and the challenges and opportunities these present to policymakers and those in the sector was assessed. Read more about the Policy Landscape Review series here.

Focusing on “Defence”, Juljan Krause, PPS Policy Associate and PhD researcher at the University of Southampton, explored how trust in autonomous systems among the armed forces can be improved and discusses some of the novel challenges that human-machine teaming presents, and how private sector innovation in defence complicates building trust. Read the full report here: 

Juljan Krause

Justyna Lisinksa, a Policy Research Fellow at the Policy Institute and Kings College London explored if autonomous systems could be a solution to labour shortages in the logistics sector. Read the article above

Consultation Responses

Data: a new direction: A call for evidence from Department for Digital, Culture, Media & SportThe future of connected and automated mobility in the UK
Automated Vehicles CP 3 – A regulatory framework for automated vehicles Algorithms, competition and consumer harm: call for information

Conference Papers

Yazdanpanah V, Gerding E and Stein S. (2021). Formal Methods to Verify and Ensure Self-coordination Abilities in the Internet of Vehicles. Computational Logistics : 12th International Conference, Iccl 2021, Enschede. (pp. 410-424)

Privacy Settings