Human Switch - Human Switch

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The objective of the Human Switch project is to:

  • Demonstrate clear economic value to the consumer for participating in EV energy management schemes; the economics of owning an electric vehicle will improve with vehicle-to-grid technology.
  • Establish an end-to-end service that enables a consumer to receive revenues (not just avoid costs) from adapting their charging and discharging behaviour.
  • Prove a highly secure and scalable service that can interface with a range of assets, systems and user groups across the market.
  • Secure 3 major industry partners who are keen to exploit the Human Switch approach in-order-to target their user groups. 

Users and their needs

The Human Switch will enable vehicle users (VUs) to financially benefit from their vehicle, generating income from the EV charging value pool. 

There are three main user categories for the Human Switch initiative:

  • Domestic vehicle user (DVU) – private car ownership.
  • Commercial vehicle user (CVU) – bus, van, car fleets owned at the company level.
  • Public vehicle user (PVU) – bus, van, car fleets owned at the municipal level.

The Human Switch will also enable other service providers to access the EV storage value pool along with more robust VU consumer data, supporting enhanced customer offerings, opportunities for new service providers, improved load balancing and avoided infrastructure work. 

There are three main customer categories that could potentially purchase discharged electricity or gain a strategic benefit from the Human Switch initiative:

  • Utilities – electricity providers in domestic locations.
  • Aggregators – parties who bundle changes in consumer’s loads or distributed generation output for sale in organised markets and who do not simultaneously supply the customer with energy.

Other service providers – a variety of organisations across industries including automotive manufacturers, oil & gas companies, retailers, and car park owners that have relevant adjacent applications with the Human Switch initiative.

Target users will be based in the UK

Service/ system concept

The intended solution comprises two services, the first of which stimulates the demand of the second. The solution helps customers to transition from combustion to electric vehicles, and then embed them into our energy system.

Human Switch – Switch Service– The Switch service will accelerate the uptake of V2G by providing a transition for owners of fossil fuel vehicle to electric.  The service will build a detailed business case, both financial and environmental, for transitioning to electric based on the vehicle owner’s driving behaviour.

Human Switch – Live Service - The service allows EV owners to participate in V2G market mechanisms whilst preserving the minimum level of transport utility from their vehicle.  Human Switch will provide the end to end application from vehicle management and owner interface through to energy market integration that allows the trading of the stored energy.

Space Added Value

The following space assets will be used in the Human Switch Project:

GNSS: Location services – defining the proximity of users, their EV, traffic conditions and alternative transport options will play a key role in maximising the load under management, providing the best service to users and stakeholders and for establishing disconnection risk.  GNSS data will be analysed with past behaviour patterns to determine the likely duration of available storage capacity.

Vehicle Positioning - The in-vehicle Global Positioning System will receive the low-power satellite signals and calculate positioning. It can then transmit that information to Human Switch either through a cellular network or a long-range system like Symphony Link.

Owner positioning - Understanding the location of the owner in relation to a vehicle is key to establishing patterns of behaviour and maximising load under management.  The users cell phone will track location and also act as the interface for engagement with the service.

Traffic and Vehicle Charge Point Data - Through the use of GNSS vehicle positioning in traffic assessments, optimised route planning and opportunity cost assessments can be provided to users.  

Current Status

The project was launched at an event in London where the branding of the commercial delivery vehicle, EV8 technologies, was unveiled.

Over 100 people attended from a broad cross section of industries.

Speakers from Honda, UKSA and A.T. Kearney explored the topic of energy and transport transition.  An introductory video can be viewed at https://vimeo.com/272937725

ESA milestones have been successfully completed and the project is now entering the pilot phase.

The pilot phase of the project will test the Switch application across a number of user groups comprising of domestic vehicle users (DVU), commercial vehicle users (CVU) and public vehicle users (PVU). A number of participant sites have been recruited, consisting initially of Nottingham City Council, the University of Nottingham, the Isle of Wight, the University of Warwick and a number of commercial partners.

Status Date

Updated: 07 January 2020 - Created: 07 January 2020