EA technology helps the drive towards smart charging.

EA Technology is collaborating with the Turing Artificial Intelligence Acceleration Fellowship at the University of Southampton, with the aim of generating smart charging mechanisms for transport electrification.

Smart charging is the matching of electric vehicle charging cycles to the needs of vehicle users and the conditions of the power system. This enables more vehicles to benefit from lower cost, greener electricity, still mobility needs. The research being carried out by the Fellowship is looking at the generation of incentive-aware smart charging mechanisms, that use artificial intelligence to also identify the advantageous time to charge.

With new, electrified forms of transport becoming compelling, and numbers of electric vehicles set to grow, the development of incentive-aware charging arrangements is imperative to make best use of the electricity grid. This will help keep costs low for network operators, also ensuring energy consumers are rewarded for engaging in helping the grid.

The research into incentive-aware smart charging forms is just one part of a five-year, £1.4 m programme, led by Electronics and Computer Science’s Dr Sebastian Stein, which will create AI systems that are aware of citizens’ preferences and act to maximise the benefit to society. Importantly, rather than share this data with a centralised system, the AI agents keep it safe on private smart devices and only use it in their owners’ interests.

Dr Stein, of the Agents, Interaction and Complexity (AIC) research group, says: “AI systems are used to support and automate decision-making on an unprecedented scale. They can draw on a range of data sources to make fast, efficient decisions to address important challenges and benefit millions.”

The vision for AI systems will be achieved by developing techniques that learn the preferences and needs of individuals to provide personalised services. The Southampton team will draw upon a combination of research in multi-agent systems, mechanism design, human-agent interaction and responsible AI.

Dr Stein will work with a range of stakeholders over the fellowship. This will include citizen end-users, to ensure the research aligns with their needs, as well as industrial partners, to put research into practice.

Dave Roberts, Technical Director at EA Technology, one of the stakeholders involved in the project, comments: “It is important for EA Technology to be involved in research projects. By understanding the benefits that AI can bring to the integration of electrified transport will be an important step towards public acceptance.”

EA Technology helps its clients understand the evolving energy landscape by defining business strategy, establishing the benefits of novel approaches. It shapes trials on the distribution network, and takes outcomes from projects, to develop practices for adoption in the everyday world.

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