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Mapping the complexity of legal challenges for trustworthy drones on construction sites in the United Kingdom

Mapping the complexity of legal challenges for trustworthy drones on construction sites in the United Kingdom
Mapping the complexity of legal challenges for trustworthy drones on construction sites in the United Kingdom
Drones, unmanned aircraft controlled remotely and equipped with cameras, have seen widespread deployment across military, industrial, and commercial domains. The commercial sector, in particular, has experienced rapid growth, outpacing regulatory developments due to substantial financial incentives. The UK construction sector exemplifies a case where the regulatory framework for drones remains unclear. This article investigates the state of UK legislation on commercial drone use in construction through a thematic analysis of peer-reviewed literature. Four main themes, including opportunities, safety risks, privacy risks, and the regulatory context, were identified along with twenty-one sub-themes such as noise and falling materials. Findings reveal a fragmented regulatory landscape, combining byelaws, national laws, and EU regulations, creating business uncertainty. Our study recommends the establishment of specific national guidelines for commercial drone use, addressing uncertainties and building public trust, especially in anticipation of the integration of ‘autonomous’ drones. This research contributes to the responsible computing domain by uncovering regulatory gaps and issues in UK drone law, particularly within the often-overlooked context of the construction sector. The insights provided aim to inform future responsible computing practices and policy development in the evolving landscape of commercial drone technology.
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), Drones, Artificial Intelligence, Construction Sites, Trustworthy Autonomous Systems
Krook, Joshua
e7261d11-4357-4e51-baca-115e64ae54dd
Bossens, David
633a4d28-2e59-4343-98fe-283082ba1873
Araujo-Estrada, Sergio
87793c63-f2bd-4169-b93d-ec1525909a7a
Winter, Peter
f54402e9-36a4-4cff-ab97-a252e27ca830
Downer, John
7c797105-3414-44b4-8dc3-c9e8a135fc27
Windsor, Shane P.
be3e4944-d2be-45a4-8100-03c6ca0ebea7
et al.
Krook, Joshua
e7261d11-4357-4e51-baca-115e64ae54dd
Bossens, David
633a4d28-2e59-4343-98fe-283082ba1873
Araujo-Estrada, Sergio
87793c63-f2bd-4169-b93d-ec1525909a7a
Winter, Peter
f54402e9-36a4-4cff-ab97-a252e27ca830
Downer, John
7c797105-3414-44b4-8dc3-c9e8a135fc27
Windsor, Shane P.
be3e4944-d2be-45a4-8100-03c6ca0ebea7

Krook, Joshua, Bossens, David and Araujo-Estrada, Sergio , et al. (2024) Mapping the complexity of legal challenges for trustworthy drones on construction sites in the United Kingdom. ACM Journal on Responsible Computing. (doi:10.1145/3664617).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Drones, unmanned aircraft controlled remotely and equipped with cameras, have seen widespread deployment across military, industrial, and commercial domains. The commercial sector, in particular, has experienced rapid growth, outpacing regulatory developments due to substantial financial incentives. The UK construction sector exemplifies a case where the regulatory framework for drones remains unclear. This article investigates the state of UK legislation on commercial drone use in construction through a thematic analysis of peer-reviewed literature. Four main themes, including opportunities, safety risks, privacy risks, and the regulatory context, were identified along with twenty-one sub-themes such as noise and falling materials. Findings reveal a fragmented regulatory landscape, combining byelaws, national laws, and EU regulations, creating business uncertainty. Our study recommends the establishment of specific national guidelines for commercial drone use, addressing uncertainties and building public trust, especially in anticipation of the integration of ‘autonomous’ drones. This research contributes to the responsible computing domain by uncovering regulatory gaps and issues in UK drone law, particularly within the often-overlooked context of the construction sector. The insights provided aim to inform future responsible computing practices and policy development in the evolving landscape of commercial drone technology.

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Accepted/In Press date: 13 April 2024
e-pub ahead of print date: 14 May 2024
Published date: 14 May 2024
Keywords: Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), Drones, Artificial Intelligence, Construction Sites, Trustworthy Autonomous Systems

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 489312
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/489312
PURE UUID: f63c6497-aa86-4618-8e5f-edf0b562c9fb
ORCID for David Bossens: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-1924-5756
ORCID for Sergio Araujo-Estrada: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-5432-5842

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 19 Apr 2024 16:47
Last modified: 20 Jun 2024 02:00

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Contributors

Author: Joshua Krook
Author: David Bossens ORCID iD
Author: Sergio Araujo-Estrada ORCID iD
Author: Peter Winter
Author: John Downer
Author: Shane P. Windsor
Corporate Author: et al.

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