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Driverless cars and the public: collision or collaboration?

Event date


Wednesday 30thNovember 2016, 16.15-18.00, Room QUE328, LSE

Dr Chris Tennant, LSEand Dr Sally Stares, City University

Technology companies and automotive manufacturers are racingto introduce autonomous vehicles (AVs) onto the road, while traffic regulatorsare encouraged by the promise of reduced accident casualties.  Technical development has focused on AVsnavigating the physical environment, and on predicting the behaviour of humandriven vehicles as objects within that environment.  Less consideration is being given to how thehuman drivers will interact with these new agents on the road, which is asocial as well as a physical space: using survey and focus group evidence weexplain why the perspective of other road-users needs much more attention.

The introduction of AVs is already shaping up as a text bookcase for the divergent perspectives of the technology companies and thepublic.  We’re keen to hear the views ofparticipants at the seminar regarding the comparison between the case of AVsand other PUS domains.


Dr Chris Tennant worked in the financial services sector for25 years before completing a PhD at the LSE that analysed the arguments peopleuse when discussing climate change.  Heis now a visiting teacher at the LSE and has carried out a number of researchprojects at the LSE, most recently studying how drivers imagine they willinteract with Autonomous Vehicles.

Dr Sally Stares is a lecturer in the Sociology Department atCity, University of London. She completed her PhD at the LSE on measurementissues in Eurobarometer surveys of public perceptions of biotechnology, andmore recently has focused on topics of public engagement with science, prior tothis focus on AVs.