Chief Scientific Adviser for the Department of Transport, Professor Sarah Sharples, will host a lecture on rapidly emerging technologies that have the potential to transform commuting, traffic volumes and vehicle emissions as well as the challenges that must be overcome, at The Alan Turing Institute’s Turing Lecture Series next week. 

Hosted in collaboration with the Royal Institution of Great Britain, Professor Sharples will be the first lecturer in the new series.  

Professor Sharples will discuss how policy and science need to intersect to make decisions and drive crucial research around self-driving vehicles. 

The talk will highlight some of the challenges and opportunities that arise from these new technologies and the roles that come with it. 

The lecture will take place on Tuesday 27 September at the Royal Institution. Before the event, attendees can experience several demonstrations, including a simulation showing how a pedestrian and a driver of an autonomous vehicle might interact and a virtual autonomous taxi journey using a virtual reality headset. 

Over the years, self-driving vehicles have caused intense debate in different parts of society. Now with the first trials starting this year, this lecture will consider what needs to be done to make sure that they are good for individuals, for society, and for the economy. 

Professor Mark Girolami, Chief Scientist at The Alan Turing Institute, said: “This lecture comes at a crucial time as we move towards a future where self-driving vehicles could become more present in our everyday lives. We’re delighted to host our flagship lecture series in collaboration with the Royal Institution which will offer attendees a unique and interactive experience.” 

The Turing Lectures series features influential figures from the dynamic world of data science and artificial intelligence. Past lecturers have included academic and social entrepreneur Sue Black OBE; Google Deepmind’s, Nando de Freitas; mathematician, author and broadcaster, Hannah Fry; and author and social entrepreneur, Anne-Marie Imafidon.