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The University of Southampton
Public Policy|Southampton

Understanding user preferences for smart en-route electric vehicle charging


I'm currently developing general artificial intelligence (AI) techniques to build personal intelligent agents that can represent and learn citizens' preferences in citizen-centric AI systems. The NTF scheme will enable me to begin an independent research project which will apply my research to an emerging topic of national importance: en-route electric vehicle (EV) charging.

The goal is to build an application for planning routes for EVs that takes into account individual preferences and constraints, including stops for charging. The application will consider how far the EV can travel and suggest appropriate locations for compatible charging stations on users' travel paths. Most importantly, it will consider the EV driver's personal preferences, such as trade-offs between price, convenience, and range anxiety on a particular day or time.

To achieve this goal, I need to gather information regarding EV drivers' preferences, problems, and the trustworthiness of the app. Using NTF funding, I will collect information about the preferences and needs of real EV drivers. This will be accomplished through online and in-person surveys, focus groups, and in-depth interviews as well as running a workshop.

So, I will create an online survey form and get approval for ethics and risk management. After receiving the approval, I will distribute it on social media and recruit some undergraduate students to visit EV charging stations in different parts of the UK and encourage them to complete the survey forms while they wait for their vehicles to be charged.

I will generate some useful datasets and visualize the results after analyzing the initial data extracted from surveys and organise events and arrange one-to-one meetings with stakeholders, policymakers and project partners. Therefore, I will be able to present the results of my research to those stakeholders in order to inform them about the problems in the EV charging infrastructure and the challenges that EV drivers face. Additionally, I will solicit their insight on how to implement and improve our system based on their requirements.


This project will allow me to generate a wide variety of information about EV drivers' preferences regarding en-route charging, their future motivations, and current problems. Along with the dataset, I will write up an extensive report about what the overall information is and an analysis of the collected data, which will be shared with policymakers.

This work will offer new evidence to the government and help in setting new policies. Specifically, the outputs of the project will be a valuable resource to politicians and policymakers for understanding the need for fast charging infrastructures to support the increasing number of electric vehicles as well as for offering appropriate digital services to support citizens in choosing the right services for them.

My desired application "en-route electric vehicle (EV) charging", will benefit greatly from the dataset, which will be a digital AI tool for improving the charging infrastructure.

My initiative is the best fit for three aspects of the University strategic frameworks: People, by developing myself and Sviversities undergrad students, Research Excellence, by driving forward my research and Knowledge Exchange and Enterprise, by involving government and industry stakeholders.

Objective1: Preparing for online/ in-person surveys

Objective2: Running surveys
Objective3: Analysing the output
Objective4: Meeting stakeholders, partners and policymakers and run workshop

Outputs will be a report and dataset containing EV drivers’ preferences, challenges they face regarding their EV and information about different charging stations.



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