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Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute

A 'Year of Autonomy' to help address challenges faced by the robotics industry

Published: 1 March 2017
A Year of Autonomy

This initiative is part of the South Coast Marine Cluster and aims to help the autonomous systems industries in this region to grow and position the South Coast as a hub for innovative, high value companies. The first of the Collaborative Autonomy events, hosted by QinetiQ, was attended by SMMI member, Dr Jon Downes who presented the University of Southampton's activities in maritime autonomy.

A number of breakout sessions were held, and common themes highlighted were the need to educate customers on the capabilities of autonomous technologies, the actual technological challenges still to be addressed, the requirement for acceptance by society, and the need for new business models to support research and development in the field.

The next event on 20 April will be hosted by SMMI on the subject of Developing Regulations for Autonomous systems in Air, Sea and Land Regimes: Challenges and Opportunities.  As the technology behind autonomy gathers pace it is vital that the regulatory systems that govern the technology’s use are also matured. This event, part of the South Coast Marine Cluster’s Year of Autonomy series, explores the interaction between the art of the possible and the practicalities of what should be allowed and will bring together key experts from different regulatory regimes for autonomous systems to identify common challenges and establish where opportunities lie for shared learning and best practice.

Further events organised by the South Coast Marine Cluster include:

20 April 2017 – Regulation – University of Southampton
May 2017 – Energy Management – Plymouth
July 2017 – Risk and Reliability – University of Portsmouth
September 2017 – Societal Acceptance – Cornwall
November 2017 – Reviews & Outcomes – National Oceanographic Centre, Southampton

If you are interested in attending the University of Southampton event on Regulation, please contact us here.

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