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Lloyd’s Register Foundation to fund autonomy safety research

Lloyd’s Register Foundation and the University of York are to spearhead a £12 million programme looking at the safety of robotics and autonomous systems (RAS), with the Assuring Autonomy International Programme (AAIP) to be based at the University of York and led by Professor John McDermid, an expert in systems and software safety engineering.

{mprestriction ids="1,2"}“The next generation of robotics and autonomous systems holds significant promise and opportunity for commerce and society as a whole,” said Professor McDermid.

“But it is essential for all of us that the systems are dependable and safe. The University of York is leading this programme, focusing on assurance of RAS so that the benefits can be realised, without unacceptable risk. The programme will build on York’s 30 years of pioneering research and training in this sector.”

A 2016 report from the International Federation of Robotics revealed that the number of industrial robots deployed worldwide will increase to around 2.6 million units by 2019. However, a Lloyd’s Register Foundation Foresight review of robotics and autonomous systems, also from 2016, identified that one of the biggest obstacles to gaining the benefits of RAS was that of assuring and regulating RAS, in particular safety.

“Robotics and autonomous systems are going to make a big impact on the sectors we serve as a charity and key to uptake and application is going to be their assurance of safety and regulation,” said Professor Richard Clegg, foundation chief executive, Lloyd’s Register Foundation.

“That is why establishing this programme with York is so important towards our purpose of working together for a safer world.”

To launch the programme, £10m has been pledged by Lloyd’s Register Foundation together with £2m from the University. The programme will start in January 2018, and is funded for an initial five years.{/mprestriction}

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