Role of Regulators in Safeguarding the Interface between Autonomous Systems and the General Public

Johnson, C. W. (2016) Role of Regulators in Safeguarding the Interface between Autonomous Systems and the General Public. In: 34th International System Safety Conference, Orlanda, FL, USA, 8-12 Aug 2016,

130826.pdf - Accepted Version


Publisher's URL:


Regulators play a critical role in the commercial exploitation of new technologies. They protect the public when market competition might persuade companies to take undue risks. At the same time, it is essential that regulatory authorities do not kill innovation by imposing inappropriate rules or by retaining previous requirements that make little sense in the light of technical innovations. These tensions are apparent in the introduction of autonomous and semi-autonomous systems, across a range of industries. ‘Regulatory lag’ has starved companies of the strategic guidance that is necessary to make informed decisions about acceptable levels of safety and security for the integration of these technologies. This paper argues that existing product-based, process-based and performancebased approaches to regulation threaten the safe and secure exploitation of new markets. In contrast, we advocate a Competent, Anticipatory, Self-Reflective approach, which places performance requirements on the regulator rather than on the markets they protect.

Item Type:Conference Proceedings
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Johnson, Professor Chris
Authors: Johnson, C. W.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Computing Science
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2016 The Authors
Publisher Policy:Reproduced with the permission of the authors.
Related URLs:

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record