Aston University partners with Agilysis Limited to create a predictive city planning tool to improve air quality.

The Company

Agilysis Limited, based in Banbury in Oxfordshire, is an award-winning specialist consultancy in transport safety and road-user behaviour. They work with clients such as local authorities, police forces and transport operators to understand the impact of road-user choices on traffic volumes, road risk and safety outcomes.

The Challenge

Air pollution has a significant effect on public health, with poor Air Quality (AQ) being the largest environmental risk to public health in the UK, with costs of health impacts likely to exceed estimates of £20 billion a year (Royal College of Physicians).

An increasing pressure for governments to address poor AQ, coupled with a rise in active travel such as walking and cycling, which results in greater exposure of individuals to airborne pollutants, highlights the need for a AQ solution.

The Solution

Academics from Aston University will support Agilysis Limited to produce a sophisticated predictive AQ tool which will use live data to promote safe and sustainable travel with improvements in air quality, by allowing road authorities to strategically plan and assess the benefits of network improvements.

This project will help to improve transport planning decisions by being the first to apply predictive models to estimate the impact of interventions - such as low traffic neighbourhoods and school zones - on reducing emissions.

“This partnership with Aston University allows us to adopt the latest research and expertise from a world-leading academic institution to develop a novel sophisticated air quality model and develop commercially viable applications. We are looking forward to establishing a close working relationship that will bring an exciting skillset to our company.” Daniel Campsall, Executive Chairman, Agilysis Limited.

Team Aston

The Aston University team will be led by Dr Maria Chli, reader in informatics and digital engineering at Aston University whose research is in the Artificial Intelligence field, with a particular interest in applying machine learning techniques to intelligent agents and multi-agent systems with a focus on smart cities applications. She will be supported by Dr Lucy Bastin, senior lecturer in informatics and digital engineering, who focuses on urban ecology and green infrastructure and its impact on the quality of life in our cities.

Completing the team will be Dr George Vogiatzis, senior lecturer in informatics and digital engineering, who has expertise in machine learning techniques, including deep learning neural networks and deep learning methodologies for indexing large video and image collections.

“We are very excited to get started on this KTP with Agilysis. The project will allow us to leverage our expertise on deep neural traffic modelling and control. The key objective, a powerful predictive AQ model, will be of great benefit as a tool for improving living conditions in our cities. It will also hopefully unlock exciting research avenues on new smart cities applications.” Dr Maria Chli, Reader in Informatics and Digital Engineering, Aston University.

Next Steps

The KTP is a 30 month project – look out for more updates by following us on Twitter and checking our webpage.

For more information about Knowledge Transfer Partnerships or an informal chat, email or call 0121 204 4242.