Privacy and authentication

Mobile communications are driving improved benefits for consumers across many sectors, but these services can pose challenges in terms of preserving privacy. Our work on privacy and authentication aims to build protection mechanisms into emerging technology in the rail and automotive transport sectors.


DICE (Data to Improve the Customer Experience)

DICE is aimed at developing the technology which will enable rail travellers to enjoy a personalised experience while preserving their privacy.

A key objective of the project is to design Consumer- Oriented Data Provenance (CODP), which will both enable users to track how their data is being used and empower them by providing a contract validation service – giving them reassurance that a contract signed to give access to their data is being honoured.

The project also aims to provide data privacy while data is being aggregated and disseminated between different rail industry partners.

  • Budget: £962,000
  • Funding body: EPSRC
  • Centre lead: Dr Helen Treharne
  • Partners: Royal Holloway University of London, University of Loughborough, University of Southampton
  • Timeframe: 2016-2019.

OJPA (Onward Journey Planning Assistant)

The OJPA project aims to ease the daily frustrations of travelling on public transport by developing a virtual assistant based on artificial intelligence (including machine learning, evolutionary computation and decision control). Unlike current route recommendation apps, the OJPA product learns the individual needs of passengers, as well as their repeating journeys, and seamlessly offers real-time alternative routes, including shared on-demand taxi services, in the likely event that a delay happens. Customers will be able to make their needs known via a chatbot (on wi-fi) – whether they want to find out the speed or price of a journey, or need to find a seat or access a power source on a train.

The end product – an online app – has the AI engine developed at Surrey at its core and is being trialled at London Bridge station by Moses Mobility in collaboration with Network Rail, Uber and City Cab, as well as bus services operated by Heathrow Express. In the future, the app may be extended to take into account real-time information on security incidents or natural disasters, while data privacy and GDPR will provide a further interesting challenge.

  • Budget: £230,000
  • Funding body: Innovate UK
  • Centre lead: Dr Sotiris Moschoyiannis
  • Partners: CommuterHive, Snapout, ManagePlaces, Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR)
  • Timeframe: November 2017-October 2018.