Bristol field trials

This blog is dedicated to BigClouT field trial to be conducted on the behalf of Bristol is Open, as part of Bristol City council.


Bristol is a city with a population of nearly half a million people in south west England, situated between Somerset and Gloucestershire on the tidal River Avon.

It has been among the country’s largest and most economically and culturally important cities for eight centuries.Bristol is regarded as the capital of the South West of England. Lively yet laid-back, Bristol blends its rich maritime heritage with an innovative, dynamic culture, making it one of the most cosmopolitan centres outside London. It is a leader on the green scene and was proud to be European Green capital 2015 – the only UK city ever to hold the title. It also has an enviable cycling culture. Compact enough to get around on foot, yet big enough to boast an exciting line-up of entertainment, Bristol has much to offer. The city’s most celebrated sights include the Clifton Suspension Bridge – which was designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel and celebrated its 150th anniversary in December 2014.

Bristol’s modern economy is built on the creative media, electronics and aerospace industries, and the city-centre docks have been redeveloped as centres of heritage and culture. The city has the largest circulating community currency in the U.K.- the Bristol pound, which is pegged to the Pound sterling. The city has two universities, the University of the West of England and the University of Bristol and has a variety of artistic and sporting organisations and venues including the Royal West of England Academy, the Arnolfini, Spike Island, Ashton Gate and the Memorial Stadium. It is connected to London and other major UK cities by road, rail, sea and air by the M5 and M4 (which connect to the city centre by the Portway and M32), Bristol Temple Meads and Bristol Parkway mainline rail stations, and Bristol Airport.

In 2014 The Sunday Times named it as the best city in Britain in which to live, and Bristol also won the EU’s European Green Capital Award in 2015.

Use Case 1: Mobility Prediction- predicting mobility patterns of citizens in the city context


Within Bristol in the next 5 years there are initiatives in place to improve the air quality which focus on major infrastructure projects to behavioural change initiatives.  Bristol City Council has a statuary duty to develop an Air Quality Action Plan in order to reduce the impact on human health and to achieve compliance with government legislation. Some of the projects being undertaken focus on the role of multi-modal transport to facilitate citizens in using different modes of transport across the city for example Travel West journey planner aggregates transport information and resources to assist citizens in sustainable route mapping.

This use case proposes to assist the model of multimodal transport in Bristol by provisioning walking pedestrians with optimised routes in the city centre avoiding heavily congested and polluted routes. The use case will aim to aggregate mobility data with air quality data in the city.  Data can then be viewed by citizens to plan regular commutes or tourists visiting the city.

Stakeholder Engagement

Bristol have been engaging with the city council to understand more about the strategic decision making on air quality improvements within the city, and future implementations to facilitate behaviour change in the city. Promoting walkability options within the city should help reduce congestion and air pollution especially around peak times.

Further plans will be implemented to engage with specific users in the trial area, to see how the impact of this data will affect their travel behaviour.

Updates – 2018

In the past months Bristol have been planning the deployment of air quality sensors into the trial area and engaging with the city council and partners for approvals to do so. Shortly test data from the air quality sensors will be available.

Bristol City Council have also identified mobility data to be integrated into the trial later in October 2018 which will provide additional data to the use case for citizens to view.

Use Case 2: Smart Energy – predictive analysis of users’ power consumption


This use case is about exploiting BigClouT’s novel data-adaptive machine learning techniques for predictive analysis and the power consumption of users.

The objective is to make householders aware about different phenomena, that otherwise would be very difficult to detect for example ‘the phantom load’ also known as ‘vampire power’. This is the electricity consumed by electronic and electrical appliances while they are switched off (but are designed to draw some power) or in a standby mode. Consumption may be of the order of 10% of the electrical energy used by a typical household.

Saving electricity not only will affect the householders’ pocket. Electricity is very often generated by combustion of hydrocarbons (oil, coal, gas) or other substances, which release substantial amounts of carbon dioxide, implicated in global warming, and other pollutants such as sulphur dioxide, which produces acid rain, so at the same time the user is helping to take care of the planet.

The scenario of the use case would be:

  • Collect real time data from the sensors deployed.
  • Analyse the citizen involved usage of electricity.
  • Predict future behaviour with this information.
  • Show this information in an understandable way to the users in a dashboard.
  • Merge this information with other available sources (i.e. weather information).
  • Compare their usage with other people in similar situations.
  • Get feedback from the users, for example: did it change their behaviour in some way?
Stakeholder Engagement

We are currently engaging with stakeholders to identify what particular data would be most useful to them and in what format, and if it is likely that this would impact any particular behaviours.

Updates 2018

The infrastructure is currently in the stages of being deployed to the citizens, with validation testing take place to ensure connectivity between the Bristol use case owners and the citizens. Further infrastructure deployments will be taking place later in 2018.

If you want to share ideas or be involved in the definition and validation process, please contact us!