Society matters LIVE: Should I let a robot drive my car?
  • Aston University research into safe and ethical navigation of self-driving vehicles to be highlighted
  • Dr James Pickering will be speaking at May’s Society matters LIVE event
  • Should I let a robot drive my car? will take place at Cafe Artum in Hockley Social Club on Thursday 25 May.

The impact of AI on our future lives is the topic of this month’s Society Matters LIVE event from Aston University at Cafe Artum in Hockley Social Club on Thursday 25 May.

It is predicted that machines in the future will replace humans for specific given tasks such as driving a car, manufacturing, and even health procedures such as operations.

Dr James Pickering, lecturer of control and autonomous systems in the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences, will discuss the safety of self-driving cars and how they will make ethical ‘choices’ while on the road.
Dr Pickering said: “In the future, autonomous vehicles will have to be programmed with control and AI algorithms so that they are safe and ethical – and behave and react as a human would.”

 “Autonomous vehicles will be placed in situations where they interact in a safe and ethical manner towards other vehicles, for example, the decision-making involved in leaving a highway junction.

“But then what happens if they are in a situation which will involve an unavoidable collision?

“What ‘choices’ will they make then?”

The event is organised by Aston University and Café Artum at Hockley Social Club as part of the Society matters LIVE series.

Free tickets are available at

Earlier this year Aston University announced it was opening up the world of AI to graduates who don’t have a background in science, technology engineering or maths. 

Seven scholarships for the MSc Applied AI are being offered to graduates who want to work within sector but don’t have a computer science background.

Notes to editors

About Aston University
Founded in 1895 and a university since 1966, Aston University is a long-established university led by its three main beneficiary groups – students, business and the professions, and the West Midlands region and wider society. Located in Birmingham at the heart of a vibrant city, the campus houses all the University’s academic, social and accommodation facilities for our students. Professor Aleks Subic is the Vice-Chancellor & Chief Executive.
In 2022 Aston University was ranked in the top 25 of the Guardian University Guide, based on measures including entry standards, student satisfaction, research quality and graduate prospects. The Aston Business School MBA programme was ranked in the top 100 in the world in the Economist MBA 2021 ranking.
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