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Nationwide effort launched to educate the public on self-driving vehicles

23 February 2024

In a move to boost public confidence in autonomous vehicles, the University of Warwick is working with the UK Government on a new educational initiative.

Technology and Decarbonisation Minister Anthony Browne
Technology and Decarbonisation Minister Anthony Browne

WMG at The University of Warwick has announced the launch of the Partners for Automated Vehicle Education United Kingdom (PAVE UK) with the Department for Business and Trade, the Department for Transport, the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV), and Transport for West Midlands, as its founding partners.
 
The PAVE UK initiative aims to build public confidence in self-driving technology through a programme of education and engagement, supporting the UK Government’s ambition to deploy self-driving vehicles safely on the road and its aim to make the UK the leader in artificial intelligence (AI).
  
PAVE UK is the country’s first non-governmental organisation that advocates for and delivers public education and engagement programmes on automated vehicles. It launched at the Royal Automobile Club on Wednesday, 21 February, with Anthony Browne MP (Technology and Decarbonisation Minister), and Professor Sarah Sharples (Chief Scientific Adviser at the Department for Transport), as the keynote speakers. 

Over 100 technology developers, safety campaign groups, regulators, innovators, and industry leaders discussed how to ensure the public is engaged in the self-driving technology journey and how to accurately communicate AV safety messages with different stakeholders in society.
  
Professor Siddartha Khastgir, Head of Verification & Validation at WMG, University of Warwick, said: "At WMG, we strive to enhance the safety of self-driving technology and ensure it is safe to operate on the roads. In taking a people-first approach, the public should be paramount in the safety conversation and part of the journey during the development and deployment of self-driving vehicles on UK roads.
  
“PAVE UK will translate technical information into clear, comprehensive and accurate messaging to help communicate safety to the public in an inclusive and accessible manner. 

“Future technology users and other road users will be equipped with the knowledge of benefits and limits of this new transport technology. 

“PAVE UK will also bring together the self-driving ecosystem to tackle the technological challenges, speak honestly and accurately about system capabilities and limitations, and encourage innovators to put the public at the heart of this.”
 
PAVE UK will work closely with the entire UK Connected and Automated Mobility (CAM) ecosystem, to carry out education and engagement programmes, such as research-based educational materials packs, school outreach activities, community outreach, an online video library, webinars, and an online educational app. The programme will be delivered by WMG at the University of Warwick.
 
Nusrat Ghani MP, Minister for Industry and Economic Security, said: “The UK automotive sector is at the cutting edge of exploiting new innovative technologies. These have the potential to create jobs, grow the economy and accelerate how we reach net zero.
 
“The PAVE UK initiative will help cement the UK as a world leader in self-driving technology."
 
Technology and Decarbonisation Minister Anthony Browne concluded: “Self-driving vehicles have the potential to transform our transport sector, and PAVE UK will be a big part of this by raising awareness and embedding confidence in people throughout the country. 

“In the meantime, we’re making sure that these vehicles are safe to use on our roads. Our Automated Vehicles Bill sets a rigorous standard for safety, whilst making sure that this country is where businesses can develop and deploy their cutting-edge technology.”


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