Prof Ann Williamson — Automated vehicles, big data and road safety

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Autonomous vehicles and driver assist technologies are seen as the next-big-thing for road safety.  Many authoritative organisations are predicting benefits of up to 95% reductions in crashes; levels never achieved before. Unfortunately, these forecasts are at best optimistic and at worst misleading as they are based on the false ideas that driver error is at the heart of all road safety problems and that new technology is infallible. This presentation will summarise some of the main issues with the introduction of autonomous vehicles, discuss how big data is being used in their development and suggest an alternative path to ensure that the road safety benefits from these vehicles become a reality.

Prof Ann Williamson

Transport and Road Safety Research Centre, UNSW

Ann Williamson is Director of the Transport and Road Safety (TARS) Research Centre and Professor of Aviation Safety at UNSW Sydney. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of NSW and of the Australian College of Road Safety. She has a PhD in Psychology, was Foundation Director of the NSW Injury Risk Management Research Centre and previously Head of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Unit at the National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety. Ann’s research focusses on human factors and injury in the areas of transportation and workplace safety, in particular on the role of error, especially skill-based error, in safety and the effects of fatigue on performance. She has been an invited technical expert on advisory committees for a wide range of transport and road safety authorities. She has twice been awarded an NHMRC Senior Research Fellowship (2005-2015) and won the Ron Cumming Memorial medal from the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society of Australia (2013), the Sustained Achievement over a Professional Career Award (2011), and the Meritorious Achievement in Research Award (2004). She has been President of the Australian Injury Prevention Network.

Date: Wednesday, 23 August 2017


6:00pm – 6:30pm: Refreshments

6:30pm – 7:30pm: Lecture

7:45pm onwards: Dinner (at a nearby restaurant)


The Refectory Room H113 is a room downstairs in the Quadrangle building (same corner as Maclaurin Hall, but downstairs instead of upstairs). It is *not* the Refectory Building on Parramatta Rd (next to/part of the Holme Building).

When: 23/08/2017
Time: 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Cost: Free
Location: Quadrangle Refectory Room,
Quadrangle Refectory Room H113,
The University of Sydney,
NSW 2006

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