UCL Events


Lunch Hour Lecture: If self-driving cars are the answer, what’s the question?

21 March 2019, 1:00 pm–2:00 pm

Lunch Hour Lectures

Event Information

Open to

All | UCL staff | UCL students | UCL alumni




Emma Hart


Darwin Lecture Theatre
044: Darwin Building
Gower Street
United Kingdom

About the lecture: On public roads, private test tracks and inside computer models, self-driving cars are currently learning to drive. The hype and the amounts of investment are huge. The enthusiasts think that self-driving cars will make the world safer, cleaner, happier and more efficient. Critics worry that they could be dangerous, that they could increase the number of cars on our roads or that they will only benefit rich people. Who should we believe and how should we find out? Experiments are currently underway, but they are disorganised. There have already been some high-profile crashes. A worrying number of Tesla drivers are testing their cars’ ‘Autopilot' systems to the limit. Bad experiments could lead to bad policy. Self-driving cars are not just a test of artificial intelligence. They are also a test of our intelligence as we decide how the world around us could look in the future.

Live Stream

About the Speaker

Jack Stilgoe


Dr Jack Stilgoe, associate professor in Science and Technology Studies at UCL, works on science and technology policy, particularly the governance of emerging technologies. Among other publications, he is the author of Experiment Earth: Responsible innovation in geoengineering. He leads Driverless Futures?, a three-year project funded by the Economic and Social Research Council to investigate how self-driving car technologies can be governed in the public interest.