Driver fights Gatwick airport drop-off fine with ChatGPT – and wins

By Harry Kemble
24/02/2023
Home » Driver fights Gatwick airport drop-off fine with ChatGPT – and wins

A motorist has successfully challenged a £100 fine for driving through a drop-off area at Gatwick airport using ChatGPT.

Shaun Bosley, from Brighton, received the ‘final notice’ penalty after he dropped off a colleague at Gatwick airport last November.

However, he claimed he had not received any previous correspondence from National Car Parks (NCP) and turned to artificial intelligence chatbot ChatGPT, which can be used to generate human-like conversations, to write a response.

Shaun told LBC: “I just typed ‘write an appeal to a penalty charge notice for driving through Gatwick airport. I have received final notice, but never received first notice of the penalty’, and straight away it came back with a great response.”

In the appeal, the ChatGPT referenced the ‘undue stress and hardship’ the financial notice had caused and also requested that NCP provide ‘information regarding the circumstances’ as to why the driver hadn’t received a first notice.

“I understand that it is my responsibility as a driver to be aware of the rules and regulations regarding driving through an airport,” ChatGPT wrote.

“However, I never received the first notice of the penalty and therefore, did not have the opportunity to contest the charge or pay the fine in a timely manner.

“I believe that the debt collection process has been premature and I request that you reconsider the penalties imposed.”

Motorists dropping passengers at Gatwick must pay £5 for a maximum of 10 minutes. They are charged a further £1 for every minute they stay after that up to a maximum of 20 minutes.

Shaun said NCP responded to his appeal the next day and reduced the fine to £15, which was the original amount.

“It’s insane how [ChatGpt] writes like a human,” he added. “I didn’t have to look at it and think ‘that sounds like a robot, I need to change some of it’, it was so conversational.”

A NCP spokesperson said: “NCP takes appeals on their own individual merit. Looking at this particular appeal we can confirm that the appeal decision would have been the same regardless of the usage of the AI to appeal.”

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