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Inaugural and Professorial Lectures

Autonomous vehicles: welcome or worrisome?

​​​​​​Professor Jon Platts - Cardiff School of Technology
Wednesday 23rd January 2019
5.45pm for 6pm start
Lecture Theatre O1.01, Cardiff School of Management Building, Llandaff Campus​

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We are constantly bombarded with sensationalist stories regarding the effect on our lives of AI. The ubiquity and use of robots in in the day to day is increasing. The tantalising prospect of owning an autonomous car whereby we are whisked to our destination, whilst we busy ourselves with catching up on our email, appears to be getting closer. Whilst the benefits of these innovations are often cited the headlines also have their fair share of outrage over the dystopian consequences of widespread adoption. The vision of self-driving cars powered by AI and the unintended consequences is particularly prevalent. But how close are we to realising some of these ideas – is it really round the corner?
This lecture will discuss the complexity of the autonomous vehicle problem by digging into the long track record of automation in air vehicles where similar concerns regarding safety continue to dominate. It will describe the fundamental technology behind automation and explain the key challenges that have yet to be solved across many domains and in particular the autonomous car, and thus inform attendees enough to be able to see through the headline claims!


Professor Jon Platts

Jon Platts is currently the Dean of the Cardiff School of Technologies at Cardiff Metropolitan University and Professor of Autonomous Systems.

Jon recently took up this role following careers in the Royal Air Force and industry research and development. He has had commercial success with his own company Muretex, winning significant, nationally competed, research grant funding; including Innovate UK funding for Robotics and Autonomous Systems. Jon was the Head of Autonomy for QinetiQ for 13 years, shaping the direction and content of research programmes and leading multi-organisation and multi-disciplinary teams (from QinetiQ, Dstl, BAE Systems, Thales UK, the Military and Academia), the output being, to design and deliver large scale research (both real flight and simulation based) trials developing autonomous air systems.

Jon holds a BEng in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from the University of Bradford, an MSc in Aerosystems Engineering from Loughborough University and a PhD in Self organising fuzzy logic from Loughborough University. He is a Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology and a member of both the Institution of Measurement and Control and the International Council on Systems Engineering.

​How to book

To book your place on any of the Cardiff Metropolitan University Professorial and Inaugural Lectures, please complete the online book​ing form or contact: Kay Norton, Tel: 029 2041 6055 or email: pandilectures@cardiffmet.ac.uk 

Places are free of charge on a first come, first serve basis and are open to the General Public. Cardiff Metropolitan University operates a 24 hour parking system – please pay and display 50p on the evening of the lecture​.