Wokingham, United Kingdom
Wokingham, United Kingdom
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Agency: GTR | Branch: EPSRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 4.56M | Year: 2016

Today we use many objects not normally associated with computers or the internet. These include gas meters and lights in our homes, healthcare devices, water distribution systems and cars. Increasingly, such objects are digitally connected and some are transitioning from cellular network connections (M2M) to using the internet: e.g. smart meters and cars - ultimately self-driving cars may revolutionise transport. This trend is driven by numerous forces. The connection of objects and use of their data can cut costs (e.g. allowing remote control of processes) creates new business opportunities (e.g. tailored consumer offerings), and can lead to new services (e.g. keeping older people safe in their homes). This vision of interconnected physical objects is commonly referred to as the Internet of Things. The examples above not only illustrate the vast potential of such technology for economic and societal benefit, they also hint that such a vision comes with serious challenges and threats. For example, information from a smart meter can be used to infer when people are at home, and an autonomous car must make quick decisions of moral dimensions when faced with a child running across on a busy road. This means the Internet of Things needs to evolve in a trustworthy manner that individuals can understand and be comfortable with. It also suggests that the Internet of Things needs to be resilient against active attacks from organised crime, terror organisations or state-sponsored aggressors. Therefore, this project creates a Hub for research, development, and translation for the Internet of Things, focussing on privacy, ethics, trust, reliability, acceptability, and security/safety: PETRAS, (also suggesting rock-solid foundations) for the Internet of Things. The Hub will be designed and run as a social and technological platform. It will bring together UK academic institutions that are recognised international research leaders in this area, with users and partners from various industrial sectors, government agencies, and NGOs such as charities, to get a thorough understanding of these issues in terms of the potentially conflicting interests of private individuals, companies, and political institutions; and to become a world-leading centre for research, development, and innovation in this problem space. Central to the Hub approach is the flexibility during the research programme to create projects that explore issues through impactful co-design with technical and social science experts and stakeholders, and to engage more widely with centres of excellence in the UK and overseas. Research themes will cut across all projects: Privacy and Trust; Safety and Security; Adoption and Acceptability; Standards, Governance, and Policy; and Harnessing Economic Value. Properly understanding the interaction of these themes is vital, and a great social, moral, and economic responsibility of the Hub in influencing tomorrows Internet of Things. For example, a secure system that does not adequately respect privacy, or where there is the mere hint of such inadequacy, is unlikely to prove acceptable. Demonstrators, like wearable sensors in health care, will be used to explore and evaluate these research themes and their tension. New solutions are expected to come out of the majority of projects and demonstrators, many solutions will be generalisable to problems in other sectors, and all projects will produce valuable insights. A robust governance and management structure will ensure good management of the research portfolio, excellent user engagement and focussed coordination of impact from deliverables. The Hub will further draw on the expertise, networks, and on-going projects of its members to create a cross-disciplinary language for sharing problems and solutions across research domains, industrial sectors, and government departments. This common language will enhance the outreach, development, and training activities of the Hub.

Cairns S.,TRL Inc | Cairns S.,University College London | Harmer C.,TRL Inc | Hopkin J.,TRL Inc | Skippon S.,Royal Dutch Shell
Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice | Year: 2014

There is increasing interest in understanding and achieving changes in travel behaviour, but a focus on individual behaviour change may overlook the potential for achieving change via transformation at the levels of institutions, cultures and societies - the domains of sociological inquiry. In this paper, we review sociological contributions to the literature on travel and 'mobilities'. We summarise four key themes which supplement or contradict arguments made in mainstream transport debates on behaviour change. The first involves focusing on travel 'practices' as social entities with dynamics of their own, rather than on individual behaviours. The second relates to the changing natures of societies, and the implications for travel. The third explores and interprets the issue of car dependence in ways which highlight the ethical, experiential and emotional dimensions associated with car use, its symbolic role in societies increasingly concerned with consumption, and its differing roles within different cultures. Finally, the 'new mobilities paradigm' highlights issues such as the increasing links between travel and new technologies, and the primacy of social networks in influencing travel decisions. These themes emphasise the importance of understanding the broader contexts in which travel choices are made. In particular, the implication is that the creation of more sustainable travel patterns will require changes at a range of social levels, not simply in individual behaviours, and that changes to transport will inevitably be linked with, and influenced by, broader changes in the values and practices developed by societies as a whole. © 2014 Transport Research Laboratory.

Winter M.G.,TRL Inc
Geotechnical Special Publication | Year: 2014

When rainfall-induced, debris flow landslides affect the Scottish strategic road network, the degree of damage to the infrastructure and the loss of utility to road users can have a major detrimental effect on both economic and social aspects of the use of the asset, and even small events may cast an extensive vulnerability shadow. The regional hazard and risk assessment that was undertaken following events in August 2004 to inform the process of allocating budgets and targeting works to the highest risk areas is described. The management and mitigation strategy that was developed is also described, a crucial element of this is the ongoing development of a rainfall trigger threshold to indicate conditions likely to produce debris-flow activity. The triggering of such debris flow events in the context of the historic and recent climate of Scotland is examined. Predicted changes to climate and their likely effect on landslide hazard and risk are also discussed. © ASCE 2014.

Benton D.M.,TRL Inc
Journal of the European Optical Society | Year: 2013

This paper examines a method for locating within a scene a distribution of an absorbing gas using a passive imaging technique. An oscillatory modulation of the angle of a narrowband dielectric filter located in front of a camera imaging a scene, gives rise to an intensity modulation that differs in regions occupied by the absorbing gas. A preliminary low cost system has been constructed from readily available components which demonstrates how the location of gas within a scene can be implemented. Modelling of the system has been carried out, especially highlighting the transmission effects of the dielectric filter upon different regions of the image.

Winter M.G.,TRL Inc
Geotechnical Special Publication | Year: 2014

Road construction over soft ground presents a considerable technical challenge. Such roads often serve remote communities and carry low levels of traffic. Construction and maintenance must be achieved within limited budgets. The two main approaches to such construction are aboveground (floating) and belowground (buried) construction; costly lightweight construction materials are desirable. The use of light-weight, British Standard tire bales is described. Issues related to the use of tire bales, such as sustainability, waste management, costs, and end of life are highlighted and their use in constructing road foundations over soft ground described. © ASCE 2014.

Richards D.,TRL Inc | Carroll J.,TRL Inc
Accident Analysis and Prevention | Year: 2012

This paper explores the relationship between age and the different types of head injury received by pedestrians in traffic accidents with cars. The analysis is based on information collected by hospitals in England, and is supported by in-depth case examples. The principle result is that the risk of intracranial injury increases with age, whilst the risk of fracture to the head or facial bones remains relatively constant. This agrees with previous findings for other groups of casualties, which have reported that that the decrease in brain size leads to an increase in the relative motion of the skull and brain in an impact, with a corresponding increase in the risk of traumatic brain injury. Intracranial injuries have also been found to place the greatest burden on hospitals, which may have implications on automotive design if prevention of these injuries is to be prioritised over fractures of the skull. © 2012 Transport Research Laboratory.

A new approach to locating gas and vapor plumes is proposed that is entirely passive. By modulating the transmission waveband of a narrow-band filter, an intensity modulation is established that allows regions of an image to be identified as containing a specific gas with absorption characteristics aligned with the filter. A system built from readily available components was constructed to identify regions of NO2. Initial results show that this technique was able to distinguish an absorption cell containing NO 2 gas in a test scene. © 2012 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE).

This study describes a scheme which enables one to improve the quality of one's own wireless communications, over a given frequency (or frequencies), when in the presence of inter-modulation distortion (IMD). The IMD is generated by one's own power amplifier (PA), when operating over an adjacent band of frequencies, and arises as a result of the non-linear nature of the PA when engaged in the transmission of modulated multi-carrier signals. The distortion appears in the form of inter-modulation products (IMPs), these occurring at multiple frequencies which may potentially coincide with one's communication frequency. The scheme enables one to predict the frequency locations and strengths of the IMPs and, when coincident with the communication frequency, to clear the IMPs from that frequency regardless of the levels of distortion present. The speed at which the IMPs are identified and cleared from the communication frequency - attributable to the efficient exploitation of polynomial arithmetic/algebraic techniques and a fast Fourier transform routine - offers the promise of maintaining reliable communications without having to interrupt the operation of one's own electronic equipment. The low complexity also offers the possibility of an attractive hardware solution with a low size, weight and power requirement. © 2014 The Institution of Engineering and Technology.

Visvikis C.,TRL Inc
2013 World Electric Vehicle Symposium and Exhibition, EVS 2014 | Year: 2014

Electric vehicles are very different from conventional internal combustion engine vehicles and present some new challenges for safety that must be accommodated in legislation. This paper reviews the latest developments in vehicle safety legislation with respect to electric vehicles. The development of two new United Nations (UN) Global Technical Regulations is the main focus for the paper; namely, UN Global Technical Regulation No. 13 on hydrogen and fuel cell vehicles and a draft UN Global Technical Regulation under development on electric vehicle safety. However, consideration is also given to the key differences between the major legislative jurisdictions and the implications for the development of Global Regulations. © 2013 IEEE.

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