Webinar - assuring the safety of autonomy, current capability and research challenges

This event has now finished.
  • Date and time: Thursday 25 February 2021, 7am to 9am
  • Location: Online
  • Admission: Free admission, booking required

Event details

This webinar will explore the current state of the art of the assurance of complex software-intensive systems, introducing a set of principles by which assurance and certification can be judged. It then addresses the unique characteristics of autonomous systems, such as the use of dynamic and open operating environments and autonomous decision making typically employing artificial intelligence techniques, particularly machine learning. In doing so, it considers whether or not a consensus on the definitions underpinning these terms is possible or even necessary.

Finally, we will present an overview of five research areas being targeted by the AAIP, with the intent that this will lead us to future in-depth sessions on potential areas of further discussion between the AAIP and the Trusted Autonomous Systems Defence CRC (TAS DCRC). These topics are Societal Acceptability of AS (SOCA), Safety Assurance of AS in Complex Environments (SACE), Safety Assurance of Understanding in AS (SAUS), Safety Assurance of Decision Making in AS (SADA) and Assurance of ML in AS (AMLAS).

The webinar will be hosted by Dr Simon Ng, Chief Engineer, Trusted Autonomous Systems Defence CRC and presented by Dr Mark Nicholson.

NB - A zoom link will be sent to registrants the day prior to the webinar

The timings for the webinar on 25 February are as follows:

  • 0700hrs GMT (York)
  • 1700hrs AEST (Brisbane)
  • 1800 AEDT (Canberra/Melbourne)


You can read more about AAIP on the website. The Body of Knowledge and demonstrator projects may be of interest. You can also read our blog, and we point you to “A Tale of two research communities”.

About the speaker

Dr Mark Nicholson

Mark Nicholson is a dedicated researcher and educator with 30 years of experience in Safety-Critical Systems Engineering. He has provided consultancy to a number of organisations. He is currently the education lead in the AAIP. He is also a Director of the Safety-Critical Systems Club, the UK’s professional network for sharing knowledge about safety-critical systems.

His research interests are currently focused on the concept of data safety and how to embed this concept within current safety processes and future Robotics and Autonomous Systems. Data is a core enabling technology for autonomy. He is the Author of “Data-Centric Safety” published in 2020 (ISBN: 9780128207901). He is also part of the EU PETER project addressing risk-based EM resilience with an emphasis on Autonomous shipping.

He has been extensively involved in the development of safety standards in a number of domains. He was the European editor of ARP 4754A, the current Acceptable Means of Compliance for all large Aircraft and Helicopter safety certification in civil Aerospace. He is currently Technical Author for the BSI producing PAS 1882: Incident Data collection and management for automated vehicle trials – Specification (2021) and was on the technical committee for the IET Code of Practice on Cyber Security and Safety (2020).

He has over 25 years of experience developing and delivering industrially oriented MSc programmes and Continuing Professional Development courses for staff involved in System-Safety. Development of programmes, courses and teaching activities is a core capability that is being employed by the AAIP as part of its collaboration with its stakeholders such as the TAS DCRC.


Trusted Autonomous Systems Defence CRC