Driver successfully uses ChatGPT to challenge 'ridiculous' airport drop-off fine

23 February 2023, 15:59 | Updated: 25 July 2023, 11:48

A motorist who received a fine after driving through Gatwick Airport's drop-off area challenged it using ChatGPT artificial intelligence
A motorist who received a fine after driving through Gatwick Airport's drop-off area challenged it using ChatGPT artificial intelligence. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

A motorist has successfully used ChatGPT to challenge a fine for driving through an airport drop-off area.

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Shaun Bosley, from Brighton, was dropping a colleague off at Gatwick airport last November and received a £100 "final notice" from National Car Parks (NCP) a few months later, despite not receiving any previous correspondence.

Speaking to LBC's Tom Swarbrick, Mr Bosley said the fine was "ridiculous".

"I just drove through the drop-off. It’s the funniest parking ticket I ever got because it actually times how long you’re in there for and it was three minutes," he said.

"Just simply using the drop-off which I’m now supposed to pay £5 for which wasn’t the case previously."

Mr Bosley turned to artificial intelligence ChatGPT - which generates human-like conversations - to contest the penalty. Users simply type a request into a chat box and the system can generate a response almost instantly.

"In the end, 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," he said.

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Shaun Bosely used AI to get out of a parking fine

In the appeal, ChatGPT referenced the "undue stress and hardship" the final notice had caused, and also requested that NCP provide "information regarding the circumstances" as to why Mr Bosley had failed to receive 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.

Mr Bosley said NCP replied "the next day" and reduced the fine to £15, which was the original amount.

"It's insane how it writes like a human. 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," he added.

NCP said it "takes appeals on their own individual merit".