Societal Acceptance: Knowledge Gaps and Reskilling the Workforce

Thursday June 7th, 2018 TAGS: ,

On 1st March 2018 ASV Global hosted the finale to the series of Year of Autonomy events with a day focused on Societal Acceptance. The event drew upon the factors that affect the acceptance of autonomous systems within society, both now, and in the future. The programme featured a host of speakers from across industry, academia and government, each sharing their insights and observations on this topical subject.

Following this event, ASV Global is exploring some of the key factors that were highlighted in presentations and discussions from the day.

Knowledge Gaps and Reskilling the Workforce

A common misconception about autonomous systems is that they will, ultimately, completely replace the human workforce. Whilst there are instances where an autonomous system replaces a more conventional manned method there are also cases where the systems are complimentary. There are also others where they create new job types, providing another path for mechanical and electrical engineers, pilots, drivers and boat operators.

Training is key to mastering any skillset, and the control of an autonomous system is certainly something that requires thorough teaching. As an innovative technology, learning how to operate an autonomous system can be likened to learning an entirely new language.

For example, ASV Global’s Maritime Autonomous Systems Surface (MAS(S)) training course is recognised by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) and ensures that all operators of ASV Global ASVs have the appropriate level of training to be able to utilise their system including launch and recovery as well as operation. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) often require a training course and licence to be able to utilise them commercially, and driverless cars and trains often still require conductors and supervisors to ensure the security of passengers.


It was suggested that should a company utilise an autonomous solution that they take the time to ensure their workforce have the skills and knowledge required to keep up with the changing environment they might find themselves in. It is crucial to include these systems in STEM outreach programmes and in schools in order to widen the understanding and knowledge of technology to prepare future generations for nuanced roles and careers. It may well be the case, that children in schools now could be fulfilling jobs in the future that don’t yet exist.

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