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Trusted autonomous systems: challenges, opportunities and public acceptance

These policy landscape reviews scope the use of trusted autonomous systems across seven areas: healthcare, defence, autonomous vehicles, industry X.O, financial services, creative industries, and the Internet of Things at home and in the workplace.

Drawing on both the policy and the academic literature, we review the current landscape and consider potential future applications of these technologies, assessing the challenges and opportunities these present to policymakers and those in the sector. These include reliability and safety, transparency and accountability, data bias and fairness, public acceptance, and data privacy and security.

These policy landscapes were produced for the UKRI TAS Hub, which assembles a team from the Universities of Southampton, Nottingham and King’s College London. The Hub sits at the centre of the £33M Trustworthy Autonomous Systems Programme, funded by the UKRI Strategic Priorities Fund. 

Internet of Things

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As we enter the fourth industrial revolution, the Internet of Things – and how people adopt it – transforms how we live, communicate and conduct businesses. Such a transformation is likely to bring issues where government, industry and researchers need to respond. In this policy landscape review, we explore the main policy issues the government should focus on and provide areas for further research.



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In this report, we provide an overview of the issues and challenges identified around the utilisation of autonomous systems in health and care. We span a range of potential applications of these technologies, including those that are likely to be deployed in the near term, such as for diagnosis and screening, and those that are unlikely to be in mainstream use for some years, such as autonomous care and autonomous surgical robots. 


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This review explores how trust in autonomous systems among the armed forces can be improved and discusses some of the novel challenges that human-machine teaming presents, and how private sector innovation in defence complicates building trust.


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This report provides a horizon scanning review of issues surrounding the application of autonomous systems on public roads, and in the maritime, and aerial sectors. We focus our analysis on three key areas: regulation and legislation, safety, and public acceptance; comparing policy issues and activities in each sector and provide some areas for further exploration.