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Activity title

Human-Machine Trust: Risk-based Assurance and Licensing of Autonomous Systems

Activity Reference



Systems Concepts and Integration

Security Classification



Awaiting Publication

Activity type


Start date


End date



Assurance, Autonomous, Autonomy, Licenses, Validation


At the cross-domain and cross-panel Specialist Meeting on Autonomy from a System Perspective (SCI-296), held in May 2107, a major area for consideration was how to build trust in a future Human-Machine capability that makes greater use of autonomy. To support that area a Risk-based Assurance and Licensing of Autonomous Systems approach was outlined. SCI is proposing this as a SM initially to baseline the expert knowledge base and develop the way forward. a potential follow-on activity in order to develop a common understanding of that approach and the potential benefits to building that trust. It will also align with other relevant activities resulting from the SCI-296 to ensure coherency.


The S&T objective is to contribute in building trust within a human-machine team through a risk-based assurance and a licensing process that covers and expands the scope of allowed missions or effects. H-M team would be licenced for a certain number of missions, including human-robot systems, and how that licence can be sustained and extended to cover mission requirements for new or uncertain threats in deployment. The expected achievement would be to inform a standardised process that can be applied across all NATO nations to allow human-machine teams to operate confidently in future operating environment that are hybrid in nature and coalition in character.


• OE including Rules of Engagement • Express classes of missions of OE • Exacting definition of capabilities • Definition of different risk classes (will include leveraging work done by AVT-278) • Definition and linking levels of autonomy to support Licencing - enabling different perspectives from different nations • Dynamic and continues levels of autonomy • Dynamic H-M balancing to meet OE/ROE • Systems needs to comply with the scope of missions • Assurance and Licence for class of missions • Risk based approach overcome constraints in certification and adapt to OE • Leverage human licensing approaches • Coherency and harmonisation of licensing and risk classes • Reference framework and common language • Pre-deployment licence • Failures and Success for learning and expansion of scope • Legal and Ethical considerations impacting risk-based assurance and licencing

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