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Agile Infrastructure _429 kb_ - DfT Agile Infrastructures Think Powered By Docstoc
					Agile Infrastructures Think Piece

Prepared by:
Atkins
Katalysis
QinetiQ Limited
TRL Limited

Prepared for:
Department for Transport
Chief Scientific Advisor’s Unit

Under a Framework Contract administereted by Atkins

December 2008
“Although this report was commissioned by the Department for Transport (DfT), the findings and
recommendations are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the DfT. While the
DfT has made every effort to ensure the information in this document is accurate, DfT does not guarantee
the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of that information; and it cannot accept liability for any loss or
damages of any kind resulting from reliance on the information or guidance this document contains.”
Think Piece Report




Contents
Section                                                                                     Page
Executive Summary                                                                              5

What is agility?                                                                               5

Agile infrastructure in transport                                                              5

Why does transport need to consider agility?                                                   7

Wider opportunities for agility in transport                                                   7

Next steps for DfT                                                                             8

Recommendations                                                                                9

2.        What is an Agile Approach?                                                          10

2.1       What is agility?                                                                    10

2.2       Agility in other domains                                                            11

2.3       A key challenge within agility                                                      11

3.        Agile Infrastructures and Services in the Transport Domain                          13

3.1       Why does transport need to consider agility?                                        13

3.2       Reasons to be Agile                                                                 13

3.3       Foresight Intelligent Infrastructures Study                                         14

3.4       The existing ‘state of the art’ in transport agility                                15

3.5       Current UK Examples                                                                 17

3.6       Air Traffic Control                                                                 17

4.        Principles and Lessons Learnt in the Design of Agile Systems from Other Domains     19

4.1       Principles in the design of agile systems                                           19

4.2       Type of Stimulus                                                                    19

4.3       Timescale for Required Agility                                                      21

4.4       System Type                                                                         22

4.5       Key lessons from other domains                                                      23

4.6       Benefits realised in other domains                                                  27

5.        Opportunities for Further Development of Agile Infrastructures in Transport         28

5.1       Introduction                                                                        28

6.        Developing Use of Agile Infrastructures in the Department for Transport             32

6.1       The role of government – why should government do it?                               32

6.2       Next steps for DfT                                                                  33

6.3       Measuring the benefits                                                              33

6.4       Opportunities and risks                                                             33

7.        Conclusions                                                                         35

7.1       Findings and Recommendations                                                        35

7.2       Recommendations                                                                     36

8.        Appendix                                                                            37





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List of Tables
Table 3.1 – Timescales over which systems react, source: Prof Alan Burns et al York University            22


List of Figures
Figure 1.1 - Example Speed Flow Curve                                                                     10
Figure 3.1 - Block diagram illustrating basic elements of flexible manufacturing system                   20
Figure 3.2 – Illustration of premium level automotive architecture and the explosion in feature content   25
Figure 3.3 – Basic elements of self-healing vehicle system                                                26


Appendices
A.1       Department for Transport Specification                                                          37




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Executive Summary
The DfT Chief Scientific Advisor has initiated a series of brief horizon-scanning think pieces, including this
review of agile infrastructure1. The review specification noted the Eddington recommendation that enhancing
the performance of existing networks can have higher returns than extending them. In some well developed
fields the concept of ‘deliberately agile infrastructure’ is applied to make the most of available resources.
Similar concepts might be applied to support DfT’s policy and operational needs.
This project was set up to report on techniques available, existing applications and benefits, opportunities in
transport and risks or uncertainties. DfT has appointed a team involving WS Atkins, Katalysis, QinetiQ and
TRL to produce this think piece.




What is agility?
The definition which we have chosen for this report is summarised as:
Agility = Flexibility + Resilience
             •	      Flexibility is the ability of the ‘infrastructure’ to flex to meet changing requirements of its users.
                     For instance, the tidal flow allowed on the Aston expressway is a flexibility built into the
                     system, which allows the system to operate efficiently with respect to the known commuter
                     patterns into and out of central Birmingham.
             •	      Resilience is the additional capability for the system (including the infrastructure) to respond
                     to the unexpected events e.g. to ‘degrade gracefully’. A classic example of resilience is the
                     ability of the system to respond to catastrophic events, such as the 7/7 bombings in London.
We can say therefore that an ‘agile infrastructure’ is designed to respond to both the unknown and the
known variability in demand. The occurrence of known variability on demand can be predictable such as
football matches or school holidays. In contrast, the effect on demand of events that are likely to happen but
the timing of which is unknown, such as accidents and floods, will be unpredictable.
At present, agile infrastructure as a recognised term is most widely found in the field of ICT. The Internet,
with its myriad routes and outstanding resilience is an exceptional example and, within this, increasingly
agile evolutions such as social networking and data mash-ups are evolving. International telephone networks
are impressively agile. Failsafe computer systems or those that share resources interactively and flexibly in
response to load monitoring, e.g. Grid computing, exhibit agility and there are advocates of an agile, user-
engaged, modular approach to software developments that claim great advantages over conventional
‘waterfall’ methods.




Agile infrastructure in transport
At the time of writing, the M42 Active Traffic Management trial is perhaps the best known, but certainly the
most topical example of a “better use” measure, as highlighted by the Eddington report in December 2006.
The success of the trial has certainly raised the profile of agile approaches. However, Ruth Kelly’s recent




1
 Other think pieces commissioned so far are: ‘Synthetic Environments in Transport’ (completed), ‘System of
Systems Approaches in the Transport Sector’ and ‘Reducing the Need for Travel by Improving Land Use
Predictions Informing Transport Planning’
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announcement2 about the development of a more widespread ‘network of managed motorways’ offering
smoother flow and more predictable journey times, at a fraction of the cost of motorway widening, already
highlights a number of other agile areas for consideration. These areas are, High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV)
lanes, High Occupancy Tolling (HOT) and dedicated or shared use HGV crawler lanes, amongst others. The
supporting analysis3 also highlights the potential for more “innovative managed motorway solutions” such as
traffic segregation, access control/ramp metering, improving flows at junctions, through the provision of
additional information to road users, reduction in late lane changes and by using the hard shoulder to move
queuing exit traffic off the main carriageway or to improve the flow for traffic entering from a junction.
Research into the effectiveness of these solutions is ongoing across the transport domain, with a growing
body of evidence to support the value of providing real time traveller information.




                                      Photograph of agile lane configuration on Aston Expressway


Management of the road network already includes a number of measures, which could be considered as
agile approaches, such as the M42 Aston Expressway; Operation Stack on the M20 to Dover, use of
temporary ramp metering limiting access onto motorways, contingency plans for major events such as a
football match at the Madejski stadium. The scope for this Think Piece is to stretch the thinking and consider
the “art of the possible” for other agile approaches, which could be used on the road network, or indeed on
other modes of transport. In addition we aim to address the questions of whether different modes of
transport can learn from each other in their approaches and whether the different modes of transport could
work better together to deliver the required agility, from within the existing infrastructure
The DfT think piece specification stated that the brief study should:
             •	      Develop a better perspective on practicable ways that the transport infrastructure might be
                     made more flexible, and responsive ('agile') to demand, in the short to medium term
             •	      Better understand what information will be needed by travellers and potential travellers to
                     maximise the benefits of an agile infrastructure and how that information might be delivered
                     in an influential manner
             •	      Clarify the role(s) the Department and its executive agencies might have in facilitating this.



2
    Reference to Ruth Kelly statement on tackling congestion on our roads delivered on the 4th March 2008
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Why does transport need to consider agility? 

The following quotation from the Eddington report highlights why we need to consider agility in the UK
national transport infrastructure:
“With some exceptions, my assessment is that the UK has the infrastructure network that it needs, in the
right places. However, the performance of those networks, in terms of capacity, delays, reliability and
comfort, is poor in some places today, particularly at peak times. ….
… At the strategic level, this analysis argues powerfully that the policy should focus upon improving the
capacity and performance of the existing transport network….
….My first headline recommendation is therefore that, to meet the changing needs of the UK economy, the
key strategic economic challenge is to improve the performance of the existing network.”


Transport also faces some very specific challenges, which require agility:
             •	      Ever since the events of 9/11 and 7/7, our transport networks themselves have been
                     confirmed as potential transportation mechanisms for weapons of terror. Security has
                     become a critical factor that needs to be considered at the outset in the design of transport
                     systems. One particular feature is the ability for the transport system to be able to respond
                     after such a massive incident, both in terms of emergency service provision and in terms of
                     the speed at which the transport system can resume a normal service and minimise the on-
                     going impact of the incident.
             •	      Climate change represents the single largest challenge which humanity faces and the UK has
                     its part to play as a developed nation. Specifically, within the UK, the key challenge from
                     climate change is the increasing variability in our weather and climate and the increased
                     incidence of severe events. For instance, high-sided vehicles on our strategic road network
                     represent a particularly pressing challenge. They are essential to the running of our economy
                     and the transport of goods on our roads, in an international, inter-urban and local context.
                     However, when lorries are over-turned in high winds, the loss of life and the consequent
                     knock-on impact from blocking the strategic road network are severe. The Highways Agency
                     and other authorities cannot be seen to be “crying wolf” at each forecast incident. Flexibility
                     must be at the kernel of our response to this challenge




Wider opportunities for agility in transport
The national and international transport system is a network with many nodes and information components.
In that respect it is an ideal candidate for agile thinking. Relative to some networks, it does not have many
constraints, for example, it is not as easy to be agile with the fixed railway infrastructure as with the more
flexible road traffic system because of the fixed tracks, lack of network penetration and complexity of
applying dynamic timetable adjustments. However, the complex nature of agility in transport flows all the
way from major decisions on investments that can accommodate agility through to detailed operational or
user-involved considerations.
Dynamic route guidance or traffic responsive signal programs, just-in-time operations, demand responsive
public transport, intelligent in-vehicle navigation, flexible maintenance or emergency deployment, simulation-
led planning and responses are all relevant examples. Many of these are at an early stage with greater
potential available from advanced use of technology. Unusually, in an agile context, there is great scope to
treat people as part of the infrastructure, allowing them to make informed decisions to optimise their travel in
terms of trip frequency, time of day, destination, mode, route choice; but also in the context of enhancing
system performance.


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There are clearly a range of transport issues where an agile approach is relevant. Most apparent are dealing
with congestion, crisis management, managing network reliability and personal journey planning. While there
are good existing examples of a pragmatic or opportunistic approach to flexible management of transport
systems, these are not generally founded on a deliberate design of agile infrastructure. This report highlights
potential applications and benefits of adopting an agile approach, in addition to the need to assess and
mitigate the risks. The separate DfT Think Pieces on Synthetic Environments and System of Systems
approaches are directly relevant to achieving an agile philosophy.




Next steps for DfT
Enabling actions could include:
             •       Awareness/education campaign of agile thinking by transport practitioners
             •       Development of the modelling framework to underpin the process
             •       Preparation of a check-list for new agile projects
             •       Showing by example – case studies
             •       Building on existing good examples
             •       Facilitating consensus building and standards development
             •       Working with private sector leaders who will often make key moves
             •       Route-map for onward development
             •       Measuring the benefits
Many of the opportunities for an agile infrastructure are amenable to measurement. If an alternative involves
the capital costs of infrastructure, an agile result can be set against that. If journey reliability improves,
congestion can be reduced, environment is enhanced or there is a reduction in journey times, there are
conventional ways of measuring such benefits, to set against the costs of achieving them.
Some of the opportunities for agility are relatively novel and it might be necessary to adapt predictive
techniques to facilitate measurement. ITEA Division of DfT is commissioning investigation into modelling
improvements to cope with studying some of the special characteristics of new forms of network
management, such as ATM, congestion charging or lanes dedicated to specific vehicles. There is also
considerable opportunity to use synthetic environments to assess the benefits of agile techniques.
However, some methods are harder to measure, such as user satisfaction or improved opportunities for
personal activities, resulting from agile use of the infrastructure. While these might not be quantifiable, they
can nevertheless be recognised.




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Recommendations 

Overview
             The recommendations can be considered on three timescales of short, medium and long-term
             actions:
             •	      In the short-term, work on people’s behaviours to deliver agility; as there is a lot more room
                     for flex in people than there is in concrete, even if they are a lot less compliant !!! The focus
                     will be on improved information delivery to influence travel choices, such as routes, timing of
                     journeys, alternatives to travel, etc.
             •	      In the medium-term, continue the improvement to information delivery by adding real time
                     feeds to conventionally static sources, such as Transport Direct and in-vehicle navigation. In
                     addition to improving the effectiveness of the short-term actions, concentrate on more difficult
                     choices, such as choice of mode or inter-modality.
             •	      In the long-term, there is scope to design in agility from the outset and the onus is on DfT to
                     specify agile performance in the requirements that they write. That, in itself, requires study to
                     design the specifications. (MoD undertook substantial spending on up-front programmes).
Specific recommendations
             Recommended actions for the DfT are as follows:
             •	      Develop an awareness and educational campaign of ‘agile’ thinking by transport practitioners.
                     Show by example with case studies. Such a campaign should have an external interface to
                     the wider transport industry.
             •	      Instigate a study to determine where agile infrastructure goes after the current generation of
                     ATM has been installed and commissioned. Utilise system of systems approaches and map
                     out developments highlighting where technology changes are facilitating new approaches.
             •	      Facilitate agile thinking by work on standards, modelling tools (real time and predictive) and
                     consensus building with influential partners. Undertake research in agile information delivery.
                     Undertake/commission studies into economic evaluation of different types of agility.
             •	      Design agility in from the outset. Develop an approach and checklist for including agile
                     elements in new investment. Capitalise on the convergence of technology.
             •	      Build on successful aspects of existing good examples in transport such as Transport Direct
                     and in-vehicle navigation systems. Review future developments of Transport Direct and
                     consider how it can promote and enable agile behaviour further than it is doing today.
             •	      Develop a route-map for onward development. Future-casting to position agile thinking in the
                     next decade, with a rolling programme for development. Systems of systems, synthetic
                     environments and intelligent land use will all have a valuable role in this timeframe and the
                     DfT should work towards a leadership position for agile thinking and implementation




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1.           What is an Agile Approach? 

1.1          What is agility?
             The definition which we have chosen for this report is summarised as:
             Agility = Flexibility + Resilience
             •       Flexibility is the ability of the ‘infrastructure’ to flex to meet changing requirements of its users.
                     For instance, the tidal flow allowed on the Aston expressway is a flexibility built into the
                     system, which allows the system to operate efficiently with respect to the known commuter
                     patterns into and out of central Birmingham.
             •       Resilience is the additional capability for the system (including the infrastructure) to respond
                     to the unexpected events e.g. to ‘degrade gracefully’. A classic example of resilience is the
                     ability of the system to respond to catastrophic events, such as the 7/7 bombings in London.
             We can say therefore that an ‘agile infrastructure’ is designed to respond to both unknown and
             known variability in demand. The occurrence of known variability on demand can be predictable
             such as football matches or school holidays. In contrast, the effect on demand of events that are
             likely to happen but the timing of which is unknown, such as accidents and floods, will be
             unpredictable.
             This definition is consistent with our everyday use of the word ‘agile’, in which we refer both to the
             physical agility or flexibility of a gymnast or we might talk of a politician as having an “agile mind”
             in responding to quick-fire questions from an interviewer.
             It is also instructive to consider the opposite of agility, where the terms ’brittleness’ and ’fragility’
             are commonly used. Consider the example of a high volume interurban traffic corridor. An
             approach aimed at stability might permit the corridor to function as close as possible to the
             corridor’s maximum capacity, for as long as possible. In this state the traffic is inherently unstable,
             as demonstrated by the speed flow curve shown in Figure 1.1. When the flow is at its maximum it
             can be seen from Figure 1.1 that it only takes the slightest of perturbations to cause the traffic flow
             to break down into a congested state, from which flow recovery is difficult to achieve.


                                                                           Free Flow      affic
                                                                           Free Flowing Traffic

                                                                          Unstable         Fl
                                                                          Unstable Traffic Flow
                                               Speed (km / h)
                                               Speed




                                                                              Congestion
                                                                              Congestion




                                                                            Flow (vehicl
                                                                            Flow (vehicles / h)

                                                                Figure 1.1 - Example Speed Flow Curve
             Brittleness implies the lack of flexibility, as well as the lack of robustness. One could also use the
             word fragility which implies the vulnerability and breakability, when a system does not incorporate
             agility. One is often struck by the fragility of our transport system in its limited ability to cope in the
             case of sometimes expected perturbations or unexpected shocks. At the time of writing this report,
             Scotland saw the impact of fuel shortages on the local economy, in most part driven by people
             panic-buying fuel and this only serves to remind us of the fragility of our critical national
             infrastructure.
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             Within the definition, another key aspect is that we have defined agility as flexibility and resilience.
             These two definitions are often traded or viewed as being at different ends of a spectrum; whereas
             our definition of an agile system is one that is both flexible and resilient to shock.

1.2          Agility in other domains
             At present, agile infrastructure as a recognised term is most widely found in the field of information
             technology. The Internet, with its myriad routes and outstanding resilience is an exceptional
             example and, within this, increasingly agile evolutions (social networking, mashups, etc.) are
             evolving. International telephone networks are impressively agile. Failsafe computer systems or
             those that share resources interactively and flexibly in response to load monitoring (e.g. Grid
             computing) exhibit agility. In addition, there are advocates of an agile, user-engaged, modular
             approach to software developments that claim great advantages over conventional ‘waterfall’
             methods.
1.2.1        Example 1: The Internet – the world’s most resilient system?
             You might not think it when you’re struggling with the level of service from your ISP, but the
             creation of the internet actually spawns from DARPA’s consideration of the need for arguably the
             most resilient of all systems. DARPA was struggling with an immense resilience challenge – how
             to ensure that the United States of America could continue to operate in the event of a potential
             nuclear attack from the Soviet Union, wiping out many of its communications systems. They faced
             the question of how would they keep the essential military Command and Control systems alive in
             such an extreme event allowing the remaining Command Centres to pick up the pieces and deal
             with an incident of unthinkable proportions. In contrast to engineered networks with centralised
             control, such as conventional telephony systems, the Internet was to be an agile system,
             distributed in nature and capable of operating even when significant portions of it were
             inoperative. Out of consideration of this grand challenge spawned the development of the Internet.
             At its heart are a set of Internet Protocols (IP) which can potentially send and reroute packets of
             information over disparate networks. Such protocols are adaptive to failures and continuous
             network growth and use built-in intelligence to find a path between sender and destination, even if
             many of the intermediate networks were damaged or lost. Currently, IP communications allows
             data (e.g. voice, email, streaming video, etc.) to be transported across networks transparently to
             the user. The data normally follows one of many diverse routes to its destination, and when
             severe congestion or route failures occur, the protocols slowly converge on employing new routes,
             with little, if any, disruption to the end user.



1.3          A key challenge within agility
             One of the key challenges implicit within consideration of agile systems is the balance between
             the pressure to utilise the ‘slack in the system’ versus the resilience to be able to deal with the
             unexpected. As an example: in ICT, ‘buffers’ are designed into agile systems to allow them to
             smooth out bursts in data traffic and thus provide a degree of resilience to the unexpected, and
             even some expected, but rare events. The application of ’buffers’ is common in the Internet which
             is discussed in example 1 above. The difficulty arises when the rare events become the norm, and
             then your reversionary mode of operation becomes your normal mode of operation.
             Returning to the example of the M42 Active Traffic Management scheme, the hard shoulder,
             previously reserved only for the operation of emergency vehicles and vehicles in distress, is
             allowed to be used by all vehicles under a prescribed set of conditions. One of the early concerns
             when the scheme was proposed was that, whilst the throughput was expected to increase, it was
             unknown what would be the impact on safety and the ability of the authorities to respond in the
             event of an incident. Early indications from the analysis of the M42 trial with respect to safety are
             very encouraging3. The scheme has only very recently started to operate at 60mph, this being the
             speed which is assumed within the broader feasibility study for the wider-spread “managed


3
    ”M42 Active Traffic Management Results – First Six Months”, Highways Agency, October 2007
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             motorway” concept4. However, we are in the otherwise fortunate situation of not yet being
             completely sure how the transport system might respond in the event of a major incident. To a
             degree, the “future proofing” of the scheme has been considered by the existing top-level
             announcements which incorporate measures. Such as HOV and HOT lanes, etc.,for managing the
             demands on the “new” lanes. Nevertheless, we still need to consider, in the detail of the design of
             these systems, and just how we will ensure that we can incorporate agility into the infrastructure
             and maintain resilience.




4
 “Advanced motorway signalling and traffic management feasibility study – a report to the Secretary of
State” – DfT, March 2008
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2. 	 Agile Infrastructures and Services in the
     Transport Domain
2.1 	        Why does transport need to consider agility?
             The demands on our transport system are becoming ever more acute and complex. There is an
             important and difficult trade to be made between economic, environmental, and societal and
             safety requirements of a transport system. Transport planners and politicians often feel that they
             are continuously endeavouring to trade these primary requirements in a robust way. The reliance
             of our economy on a fully functional transport system is not in doubt. Climate change has been
             described as the world’s largest-ever market failure5. The safety lobby in transport is no less
             strong and whilst extensive improvements have been made in the safety on our roads, railways,
             planes and ships, the journey towards the fabled vision for zero deaths on European roads, still
             has some way to go.


             Transport also faces some very specific challenges, which require agility:


             •	      Ever since the events of 9/11 and 7/7, our transport networks themselves have been
                     confirmed as potential transportation mechanisms for weapons of terror. Security has
                     become a critical factor that needs to be considered in the outset in the design of transport
                     systems. One particular feature is the ability for the transport system to be able to respond
                     after such a massive incident, both in terms of emergency service provision and in terms of
                     the speed at which the transport system can resume a normal service and minimise the on-
                     going impact of the incident.
             •	      Climate change represents the single largest challenge which humanity faces and the UK has
                     its part to play as a developed nation. Specifically, within the UK, the key challenge from
                     climate change is the increasing variability in our weather and climate and the increased
                     incidence of severe events. For instance, high-sided vehicles on our strategic road network
                     represent a particularly pressing challenge. They are essential to the running of our economy
                     and the transport of goods on our roads, in an international, national, inter-urban and local
                     context. However, when Lorries are over-turned in high winds, the loss of life and the
                     consequent knock-on impact from blocking the strategic road network are severe. The
                     Highways Agency and other authorities cannot be seen to be ‘crying wolf’ at each forecast
                     incident. Flexibility must be at the kernel of our response to this challenge.

2.2 	        Reasons to be Agile
2.2.1 	      Eddington’s “better use” measures
             The DfT specification for this review noted that:
             “The Eddington review recognised that well-targeted infrastructure options can offer high returns
             on Government expenditure and recommended enhancing the performance of existing networks,
             rather than extending them. Of considerable interest, in terms of enhancing network performance,
             are short-term measures, or combinations of measures, that can:
             •	      Be implemented quickly in response to changes in demand




5
    Stern report
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             •	      Make more effective use of the transport system (utilisation) and/or quickly increase effective
                     capacity of the available fixed infrastructure”
2.2.2        The Eddington Report


  The Eddington Transport Study
  Extract from Summary of Volume 2: Defining the challenge – identifying the strategic
  economic priorities for the UK transport system. December 2006

  Para I.76-78
  The key economic challenge

  “With some exceptions, my assessment is that the UK has the infrastructure network that it
  needs, in the right places. However, the performance of those networks, in terms of
  capacity, delays, reliability and comfort, is poor in some places today, particularly at peak
  times. ….

  … At the strategic level, this analysis argues powerfully that the policy should focus upon
  improving the capacity and performance of the existing transport network….

  My first headline recommendation is therefore that, to meet the changing needs of
  the UK economy, the key strategic economic challenge is to improve the
  performance of the existing network.”

  This headline sets the context for the Agile Infrastructures Think Piece and why we need to
  think about agile infrastructures, which enable the optimisation of the traffic through-put
  through the existing network.

  For completeness, the second headline recommendation from I.81 is also listed below,
  which helps to target where the performance of the existing network should be improved.

  “My second headline recommendation is therefore that, over the next 20 years, the
  strategic economic priorities for transport policy should be: congested and growing
  urban areas and their catchments; together with inter-urban corridors and the key
  international gateways that are showing signs of increasing congestion and
  unreliability … …”




2.3          Foresight Intelligent Infrastructures Study

             Looking 50-years ahead creates challenges for any project. Nearly 300 people participated in the
             Foresight IIS project in three complementary ways:
             •	      drafting of state-of-research reviews
             •	      developing a technology forward look, by reviewing existing roadmaps
             •	      Preparing a set of scenarios that consider areas in which we might invest and how society
                     might react to those investments.


             In the foreword to the report, Sir David King remarks that:
             “Putting a man on the moon was the greatest transport challenge of the past half-century. The
             transport challenge for the next 50 years will be to use technology to deliver infrastructure that will
             stimulate economic growth, support social cohesion and be environmentally sustainable.”



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             Hence, we are “standing on the shoulders of giants” whilst preparing this more focused Think
             Piece for the DfT, on the possibilities of developing an agile infrastructure.
             The report concludes that in order to deliver intelligent infrastructure, which is sustainable, robust
             and safe, we need to invest in intelligence on four levels. In particular, we need:
             •	      intelligent design, minimising the need to move through urban design, efficient integration
                     and management of public transport and local production
             •	      a system that can provide intelligence, with sensors and data-mining providing information
                     to support the decisions of individuals and decision-makers
             •	      infrastructure that is intelligent, processing the mass of information we collect and
                     adapting in real-time to provide the most effective services
             •	      intelligent use of the system where people modify their behaviours to use infrastructure in a
                     sustainable way
             In the context of the project, the word ‘intelligence’ is used in the same way that it is used in
             information technology and brain science, rather than in any military or security service context.
             We keep these four layers of intelligence in mind, when coming forward with recommendations for
             the way ahead with respect to agility, later in this report.

2.4          The existing ‘state of the art’ in transport agility
             The identification of the need for agile infrastructure in the transport domain is already well
             defined. This is because transport networks are different from most other networks, in this
             instance the packets (travellers) traversing the network are self-aware. Almost every network user
             has anecdotal opinions on how the network could operate more efficiently, some more acute than
             others, and some of which have spawned physical interventions e.g. road junction redesigns.
             However, such opinions are limited due to their subjective nature and there are significant benefits
             that have been gained by applying a consistent and quantitative approach to monitoring,
             understanding and affecting the network.
             On most transport networks, monitoring is the first required element for which a range of sensing
             technologies can be employed (with more currently in development). Understanding is then
             achieved by analysing the data and using it to validate models and build simulations. The final
             element in the chain is the technology to affect networks, such as information delivery systems.
             The combination of these three aspects has led to the development of a number of agile transport
             solutions.




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2.4.1        Eddington – Better use measures and variable capacity

  The Eddington Transport Study 

  Extract from Summary of Volume 3: Meeting the challenge – prioritising the most effective 

  policies December 2006 


  Better use measures 

  “2.13 Better use can be divided into four types of measures: 

             •	 Supply-side measures that make the movement of users already on the
                 network more efficient, including maintenance
               •	    Demand-side measures that make the network more efficient by changing
                     traveller behaviour; and
               •	    Regulation.”




  Variable capacity
  “2.17 Better use measures are concerned with taking the transport system as is and using it
  more effectively to improve its performance. But, in some cases, there may be an economic
  case for adding capacity to the transport system. Additional variable capacity involves
  investing in those assets that can deliver an increase in effective capacity of the transport
  network without the need for significant additional fixed infrastructure.”

  Variable capacity includes upgrading buses (new routes, higher frequency, larger buses, or
  better signage), upgrading trains (new rolling stock, longer trains ..) or upgrading rail
  signalling allowing less separation between trains on the line.

  In Eddington terms, agility is delivered via a combination of “better use” and “variable
  capacity” measures. The distinction between “variable capacity” and “fixed infrastructure”
  can easily become blurred such as when longer trains might require longer platforms.


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2.5          Current UK Examples                            


2.5.1        Road-space Allocation
             The UK road network is a fundamentally inflexible asset, after all, there is a finite limit to the
             amount of Tarmac which can be laid. Nonetheless, there have been several attempts to use the
             available infrastructure more adaptively. The applied strategies can be defined in three categories
             as follows:


             •	      Static: It has long been clear that reducing the number of lanes on a road for the purpose of
                     road works causes congestion especially during busy periods. Research has shown that the
                     delay is mainly caused by the need for traffic to merge, rather than there being insufficient
                     capacity. Therefore, all long term motorway road works now retain the same number of lanes
                     by remarking the road with narrower lanes, removing the need for the traffic to merge.
             •	      Scheduled: The current UK road infrastructure is designed to a high specification and in
                     some respects at a higher level than its European counterparts. There are examples in
                     Holland and Germany of road markings being repainted either to increase the number of
                     lanes6, or by using different coloured lane markings at different times of the day. Both these
                     concepts have the potential for being applied in the UK. Other innovations include concepts
                     such as High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes and Crawler lanes, both based on fixed
                     schedules for use.
             •	      Reactive: There are several examples of reactive road-space allocation systems. In the UK
                     the most prominent example is the Active Traffic Management system on the M42, which was
                     discussed previously. Another example of active road-space management is the use of
                     dynamic lane markings, currently being trialled in Holland


             These techniques are applied in accordance with a best use strategy. For example, adding an
             additional lane during rush hour is effective only if the road link is of sufficient length. Otherwise,
             the delay caused by the diverging and merging traffic could result in a network link of less capacity
             than in the non-agile state.
             There is a risk issue linked with the addition of more effective lanes, that is, the potential to
             generate more traffic. Proponents of ‘locking in the benefits’ of infrastructure improvement would
             advocate that the increased capacity should be for specific vehicles or conditions only, not for
             general traffic.

2.6          Applied traffic control techniques
2.6.1        Air Traffic Control
             While some agile systems demonstrate adaptability, others, such as Air Traffic Control,
             demonstrate resilience. These systems are designed to maximise airport throughput, whilst at the
             same time maximising safety, by ensuring that there is always sufficient flexibility in the runway
             timetable to absorb delayed aircraft or prioritise those in distress.
             The downside of this built in resilience is potential delays for those on the ground waiting for a
             flight, and an extended in air flight time when aircraft are put into a holding pattern whilst waiting
             for their landing slot (for example, in the Bovingdon Stack while waiting to land at Heathrow). This
             resilience is further complicated by the behaviour emanating from the commercial implications of
             the system.




6
    At the expense of lane widths, and accompanied by a reduction in speed limit
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2.6.2        Operation Stack
             Operation Stack is a measure for parking HGVs on the hard shoulder of the M20 motorway
             (among others) when the container ports on the south coast are either closed or over loaded.
             The implementation of Operation Stack is based on several pieces of information; the nature of
             the overall delay and likely duration, the time and day on which it occurs, the measured HGV
             concentration on the motorways and the anticipated disruption to other traffic. This system has
             been made possible due to the deployment of variable message signs as well as a campaign of
             HGV driver awareness.


2.6.3        Urban Traffic Control (UTC)
             UTC systems, such as SCOOT, have been in wide use for a number of decades now. These
             systems have provided the ability to flex the urban road capacity to influence a number of
             changes. Optimisation of traffic throughput was an early goal and networked UTC systems
             allowed for a high degree of iterative optimisation.
             More recent innovations using UTC systems include Gating, the concept of holding traffic signals
             in one state or another for longer in order to prioritise certain traffic. With the advances in
             computer simulation, these systems have been tied in with artificial worlds, to test a number of
             hypothetical cases. These cases are then optimised for a range of eventualities such as,
             minimising traffic emissions by smoothing traffic flow as much as possible.




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3. 	 Principles and Lessons Learnt in the
     Design of Agile Systems from Other
     Domains
3.1 	        Principles in the design of agile systems
             When reviewing the design of agile systems from other domains, it is possible to draw out three
             main principles. These are highlighted below, with illustration by example.
             When considering the underlying principles of agility and especially how they might apply to
             transportation in general, it is useful to summarise the types of problems we are dealing with.



3.2          T
             	 ype of Stimulus
             One useful way of doing this is to categorise the types of stimuli or external factors acting on the
             transport system by virtue of the degree to which they are capable of being predicted, as
             described below.


3.2.1 	      Normal Variation
             Any transport system is subject to relatively predictable change in its underlying loading, arising
             from:
             •	      Daily or seasonal factors, such as rush hour, weekends and school holidays.
             •	      Planned events such as football matches, Grand Prix, race meetings, music festivals, state
                     visits, air shows and even the Olympic Games.
             •	      Scheduled outages arising from routine maintenance or new infrastructure building.
             In each case, it should be possible to predict the location, timing and nature of the stimulus
             expected based on historical evidence built up over time in order to plan an appropriate and
             effective response.


3.2.2 	      Additional Random Variation
             In addition to the above, all transport systems are subject to additional stimuli, which can be
             reliably predicted to occur. However, the location and severity cannot be precisely known in
             advance. Examples include:
             •	      Traffic accidents and breakdowns
             •	      Bad weather, e.g. heavy rain, wind, snow or ice
             •	      Failures in the physical infrastructure: road and rail bridges, railway points
             •	      Failures of the traffic management system itself: traffic lights, rail signalling and Air Traffic
                     Control.
             In such cases, it is necessary to react to events after they have happened. Although contingencies
             can be built up in advance, again guided by experience, the precise response will depend on the
             nature of the stimulus and the ability to detect it in a timely manner. In some sense, all these
             constitute ‘normal occurrences’ so the transport user rightly expects the system to be able to
             respond.

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3.2.3        Extreme, High Impact Events
             There will always remain a category of stimuli which is inherently highly unpredictable, but which
             can have a severe impact on the transport system. By definition, these cannot be easily
             enumerated, but we might include:
             •	      Major flooding, leading to simultaneous loss of multiple motorways and/or railways and/or
                     airports.
             •	      Major accident: A380 crashes over Central London; large-area nuclear or chemical spillage
             •	      Terrorist Action, coordinated nationally or across a major city
             It is unreasonable to expect the transport infrastructure to be able to operate normally in such
             cases and it is uneconomical to build the system with this in mind. However, it is important that
             some sort of response is thought through to allow improvisation to take place as best as possible.


             Principle 1: Design for the predictable, consider the likely variations and design in the
             ability to cope with the extremes.
             A good example which embodies the above agile design principle is the reconfigurable
             manufacturing system (RMS).
             Example 2: Reconfigurable Manufacturing System
             A reconfigurable manufacturing system is designed at the outset for rapid change in its structure,
             as well as its constituent hardware and software components. This enables the system to quickly
             adjust its throughput capacity and functionality in response to sudden market changes or intrinsic
             system change. A schematic diagram of a RMS is shown in Figure 3.1.




                       Figure 3.1 - Block diagram illustrating basic elements of flexible manufacturing system




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             When RMS was first developed in 1999, the overall goal of the development was described as
             being: Exactly the capacity and functionality needed, exactly when needed.
             Ideal Reconfigurable Manufacturing Systems possess six core characteristics:
             •       Modularity
             •       Integration
             •       Customized flexibility
             •       Scalability
             •       Convertibility
             •       Intelligent diagnostics
             A typical RMS will have several of these characteristics, though not necessarily all. When
             possessing these characteristics, RMS increases the speed of responsiveness of manufacturing
             systems to unpredicted events, such as sudden market demand changes or unexpected machine
             failures. The RMS facilitates a quick production launch of new products, and allows for adjustment
             of production quantities that might unexpectedly vary. The ideal reconfigurable system provides
             exactly the functionality and production capacity needed, and can be economically adjusted
             exactly when needed. These systems are designed and operated according to Koren’s RMS
             Principles.



3.3          Timescale for Required Agility
             We might also categorise our transportation systems according to the timescale over which we
             might plan and implement a response. So, for example we could define response times as being
             real, near real and non real.
3.3.1        Real Time
             These are responses which operate immediately, typically in the timescale of seconds to minutes.
             A classical example might be the way in which traffic management systems adapt to the changes
             in traffic volumes, or emergency services respond to ‘normal’ events. As far as possible, such
             responses should be built into the system, for example by embedding automatic responses or pre-
             designed and validated procedures or system changes.
3.3.2        Near Real Time
             Responses required over longer periods, typically hours, possibly days, for which some time might
             be spent in considering alternatives, after the stimulus is detected. Here it is possible to apply
             computer models of the overall system to predict the impact of a change before implementation. A
             good example of this is the Apollo 13 mission. When the oxygen and electrical supply system to
             the command module failed, engineers on the ground were able to use computer simulation to
             test alternative configurations and ‘fly’ them through virtual reality, before telling the astronauts
             how to make changes to the pre-arranged flight plan. The changes which are likely to be possible
             are all constrained by the existing infrastructure, and the existence of robust and valid computer
             models.
3.3.3        Non Real Time
             Responses here might be required over months or even years. If it is known that an event,
             however large, is expected in the longer term, there should be time to plan a wider range of
             responses, including any of the above but also including changes to the infrastructure itself. In the
             extreme, say 10 years or more, we may include here the ability to respond to longer-term trends in
             the economy, demographics, town and city planning and social behaviour, for example by building
             new roads, railways and multi-modal interchanges, with the infrastructure peripherals to inform the
             traveller, to facilitate dynamic decisions, on how to continue a journey under changing conditions.


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               As in the previous set of categories, the distinctions are blurred at the edges, and systems may be
               subject to stimuli operating simultaneously in a number of timescales, as shown in Table 3.1.
               However, it is useful to recognise these broad categories, since the nature of the required agility
               and the timescale available for adaptation, varies greatly, and allows a variety of responses.



        Scale                            Time Units                 System                    World
        107                                 Months                   Policy                   Political
        106                                 Weeks                 Programme                    Social
        105                                  Days                     Plan                Organisational
        104                                  Hours                    Task                   Decision
        103                           Tens of minutes                 Task                   Rational
        102                                 Minutes                   Task                   Rational
        101                           Tens of seconds               Unit task                Cognitive
        10                                 Seconds                 Operations                Cognitive
        10-1                                100ms                      Act                   Reactive
        10-2                                 10ms                    Neural                  Biological

        10-3                                   ms                   Neuron                   Biological
        10-4                         100 microseconds              Organelle              Biotechnology
                  Table 3.1 – Timescales over which systems react, source: Prof Alan Burns et al York University


               This issue was explored in more depth in the Think Piece on Synthetic Environments, which made
               the case for more systematic use of computer models of appropriate fidelity. We should also bear
               in mind a key feature of complex systems: “no really representative model can be produced which
               is simpler than the system itself”. The impact of this maxim is that, whilst computer simulation of
               the transport system has a huge part to play in the de-risking of the first implementation, it can be
               no substitute for the spiral development, particularly where high degrees of change are under
               consideration, and our ability to predict the impact of change becomes low. In fact, the
               development of the system, first in computer simulations, through to testing sub-systems within a
               harness of emulations of the real world, through to the iterative development of the live system is
               the only way to reliably deliver agile systems, with the effects of change measured in the real
               world and fed back to keep the simulations as realistic as possible.


               Principle 2: Development of agile systems requires agile responses to change



3.4            System Type
               The final set of categories relates to the type of system under consideration. The System of
               Systems Think Piece stated that they might take a number of forms - although these were
               described for Systems of Systems approach, the same principles apply to independent isolated
               systems.


3.4.1          Directed Systems
               These are relatively closed and managed by some form of over-riding, imposed control
               mechanism. A classic example is the Air Traffic Control System (see example 3).

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3.4.2        Collaborative Systems
             Such systems are more open and not centrally-directed; their behaviour depends on a wide range
             of influences, including controlled infrastructure, but also relatively autonomous agents, such as
             the travelling public and businesses.
3.4.3        Virtual Systems
             These can be described as open-ended systems with very little built-in control, freely running over
             a built infrastructure. The classical example is the Internet: not only does the infrastructure itself
             operate semi-autonomously (via Internet Protocols – see example 1), but it enables the World
             Wide Web- a socio-technical system of infinite variety which is constantly evolving.


             Example 3: Air Traffic Management – Control versus Autonomy ?
             One of the key trades in the design of an Air Traffic Management system is striking an appropriate
             balance between the degree of central direction and the degree of autonomy given to the pilot of
             each aircraft. Effectively, this is the balance between the empowerment given to the individual
             pilot in filing his flight plan and the degree of control or direction which is imposed by the Air Traffic
             Control in order to ensure safety within the complete system.
             There is a strong lobby for pilots to pilot their own aircraft, who were supported by the airlines who
             wanted control over the massive potential fuel-savings that could be achieved simply by virtue of
             the distances involved, the atmospheric conditions such as the Jet Stream and the huge quantities
             of fuel to be carried. On the other hand, automatic pilots were well understood and often enabled
             the only viable approach in low visibility conditions. It was clear that there could not be a “free-for-
             all” within the air and that Air Traffic Management played a vital role in maintaining separation
             between aircraft and hence safety. The balance that was struck was the development of 4D Flight
             Management Systems, in which the controller mapped out a “pipe in the sky” which provided the
             bounds within which the pilot must keep, but he was given autonomy within that pipeline to fly the
             aircraft in the most efficient way possible. In this respect, ATC is transitioning from its historical
             origins as a Virtual System in its pioneering days when pilots could more or less fly where they
             liked, relying on line of sight to avoid collision, via a period spanning most of the 20th Century as a
             Directed System, to meet the demands of increased traffic flow while maintaining safety, and is
             evolving into a more Collaborative System for the 21st Century, involving pilots and controllers
             working together.


             Principle 3: Agility can be delivered in all of a continuum of systems from highly directed,
             through collaborative to virtual (highly autonomous systems); the approach taken to
             ensure agility might be quite different



3.5          Key lessons from other domains
             There is significant potential to learn from developments in agile systems from other domains.
             There are many areas of agile thinking which are under development either “in-house” within large
             industrial organisations or within the academic communities. The key learning points are
             summarised in the following section.
3.5.1        Agility should be designed into the architecture of any system
             A common characteristic of each of the examples and others which were researched is that the
             attribute of system(s) agility has been a primary consideration from the inception of the design of
             the system(s) from user requirements through to the development of the architecture or systems
             design. It is also in these stages of systems design that the characteristic resilience of agile
             systems needs to be designed into the system.



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             If agility is considered as an after thought once the system has been developed, then generally
             only very limited agility can be achieved and it is difficult to give systems assurance on the levels
             of resilience which can be achieved.
             Example 4: Manufacturing infrastructure which is portable
             In example 2 a description was given of re-configurable manufacturing systems. There is another
             good example of where agility has been considered and built into manufacturing systems from the
             outset. The modular architecture of some modern manufacturing systems allows them to be
             redeployed in another facility in a matter of days or weeks. When Ford Motor Company decided to
             close the Jaguar Browns Lane assembly plant the existing vehicle lines would have to be
             assembled in the nearby Castle Bromwich plant. From the time the last production car came off
             the plant in Browns Lane to the next in line coming off in Castle Bromwich was two weeks. The
             downtime of the assembly line was minimised and reduced the risk of lost revenue for the
             company. The modular design of the assembly line was an original requirement in the
             development of the equipment and choice of technologies. Ford Motor Company originally
             envisaged needing to move the assembly lines to North America to build Jaguars in order to
             mitigate against exchange rate fluctuations in Jaguar’s biggest selling market. The key lesson is
             that this capability was considered and designed into the system from day one. This is an integral
             part of the architecture and had influence over the choices of implementation technologies.
3.5.2        Agility is highly dependent on having robust information
             Agility and the ability to flex and respond to changes require very robust sensory data. Decisions
             to be flexible and maintenance of resilience are entirely dependent on having good data to inform
             decisions.
3.5.3        Agility is highly dependent on intelligent decision making
             If the need for manual intervention is to be removed form agile systems and a level of autonomy
             introduced and encouraged then intelligent decision making must be an integral part of the
             systems. This can be achieved through a central supervisory intelligence or a distributed
             intelligence through the system.
             It may also be achieved through the use of intelligent agents both gathering sensory information
             and taking decisions based on it.


             Example 5: Self diagnosing and self healing vehicles
             Most of the increased levels of functionality that manufacturers are now introducing into
             automotive vehicles are enabled through the use of distributed embedded electronic control
             systems. In today’s premium automobiles there can be 50 or more individual electronic control
             units (ECU’s) communicating over multiple multiplexed data networks. Figure 3.2 shows a typical
             premium vehicle electronic systems architecture that supports both control and infotainment
             systems. Such vehicle electronic control systems are becoming ever more complex, and in the
             future, will provide increasing levels of safety critical functionality, such as steer-by-wire, and
             brake-by-wire. As a greater number of features and ECU’s are introduced, the susceptibility to
             failure increases proportionally. Against this background, vehicle manufacturers are continually
             striving to reduce costs, reduce time-to-market and improve levels of customer satisfaction and
             customer loyalty to remain competitive.




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                                                                                                                                                      Function
                                                                                                                                                       Growth
                            Typical Premium Architecture (Current Generation)                                                   Lane-
                                                                                                                                               Remote
                                                                                                                               keeping
                                                                                                                                             Diagnostics
                                                                                                                    Rear Multi- ISG      In Car PC
                                                                                                                      media Satellite
                                                                                                                            Radio El. Water
                                                                                                                 Auto lights
                                                                                                                          Adaptive     Pump
                                                                                                             Auto wipers Headlamps
                                                                                                                                      EM Valves
                                                                                                              Surround ACC
                                                                                                               Sound               IVDC
                                                                                                                   Telematics           E-Connectivity
                                                                                                     Adaptive           PTC Heater
                                                                    ECU                             suspension                                        Steer-by-
                                                                                                                   Optical Buses    Active
                                                                                                                                                        Wire
                                                                    Bus                               Navigation                   steering
                                                                                            Security                                          Brake-by-
                                                                             ABS Body Elec.                Adv.     Voice Activation            Wire
                                                                                                         Restraints                Blind Spot
                                                                      Instruments             Airbag
                                                                                                                        Keyless Detection Fuel Cell
                                                            Engine Control Transmission Control      ESP      EPAS      Vehicle
                                                                  1980
                                                                  1980                   1990                      2000                       2010
                                                                                                                                              2010
                                                                                                                                                                  CY

             Figure 3.2 – Illustration of premium level automotive architecture and the explosion in feature content


             Work to improve the validation of large distributed electronic control systems has been ongoing for
             a number of years. This work has been aimed at improving both the design, and the validation, of
             complex systems through new modelling techniques and languages, formal verification methods,
             automated model-based testing and new Hardware-In-the-Loop validation platforms. However, it
             is still not possible to fully validate large, complex, distributed electronic systems of systems in the
             product development or manufacturing processes because of the vast number of possible system
             states and dependencies. Thus, it is inevitable that some error states will reach the marketplace.
             Once the vehicle has left the salesroom, traditional approaches to the management of in-service
             vehicle malfunctions have involved return-to-dealership, human assisted monitoring and
             intervention, invariably using off-board diagnostic service tools and techniques. Despite many
             years of work to improve service diagnostic tools through new diagnostic techniques such as
             model-based diagnostics, rule or knowledge-based reasoning systems, and more recently
             probabilistic approaches as system complexity increases, these approaches become more costly,
             unacceptably slow and sometimes ineffective.
             The consequences of limitations in product validation and vehicle diagnostics can be seen
             reflected in increasing warranty costs, high levels of ‘no fault founds’ (working components
             replaced in error due to incorrect diagnosis), and the need for vehicle upgrades and recalls to
             correct design flaws or implementation errors
             The self healing vehicle concept is intended to mitigate against failures within the vehicle’s
             embedded software and electronic control systems in order to ‘keep the vehicle on the road’. This
             requires a vehicle with the ability to perform autonomous in-vehicle diagnostics and prognostics to
             detect and diagnose failure conditions, confirm any proposed diagnosis, and perform appropriate
             corrective interventions. This concept utilises a vehicle equipped with a standardised, general
             purpose, networked computing architecture that facilitates software and application mobility,
             managed by an intelligent fault management system with access to remote support services via a
             telematics interface. The self healing vehicle concept is illustrated in Figure 3.3.




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                                       Figure 3.3 – Basic elements of self-healing vehicle system


3.5.4        Agility requires reconfigurable elements of systems or systems of systems
             As discussed in the previous section a key component of agility is flexibility. In other domains such
             as automotive, manufacturing and ICT this flexibility is realised through reconfigurable elements of
             the system. The decision over which elements are reconfigurable and which are fixed is taken at
             the architectural and systems design stage.
             Example 6:
             A good example of this is again in the automotive industry where the in-car infotainment systems
             are increasingly required to connect to external and so called nomadic devices such as MP3
             players and other aftermarket devices. The development cycle of the vehicle is measured over
             typically thirty to forty months whereas the development cycle of the external devices is typically
             six to nine months. The vehicle manufacturer does not know which devices will be popular in the
             market when the vehicle is launched particularly as the decision on hardware needs to be taken
             some twenty-four months before vehicle launch. The designers have overcome this challenge by
             considering an agile approach to the infotainment system architecture. They have decoupled the
             connectivity to external devices so as to be able to maintain the development of the core system
             which will be produced in high volume and at high cost and quality standards without continual
             disturbance from connectivity issues. The connectivity elements are now developed along a
             different development path using agile design approaches. A decision on which type of interfaces
             to support with hardware and which to support with interfaces into the core elements is decided
             only nine months before vehicle launch so giving greater confidence and stability to decisions.
             This agility in connectivity also means that it can be upgraded through the life of the vehicle as
             new external devices gain in popularity.
             Key lesson to take from this is that the whole system does not need to be agile. By taking a
             system of systems design approach the critical elements of the system which require agility to
             maintain overall performance have been identified.




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3.6          Benefits realised in other domains

3.6.1        Responsiveness to change
             The motivation behind many of the systems described from non-transport domains has been an
             economical one. Responsiveness to change in a cost effective manner is the primary economic
             objective of most agile systems implemented by a single enterprise.
             The change they’re concerned about can be a systems fault for which they want the systems
             performance to be resilient to; such as a change in demand for a product or service; or a user
             driven change in requirements in a fast changing market place.
             Designing agility into the system has provided the basis for being able to respond to these types
             of changes for the industries studied.
3.6.2        Scalability from systems to system of systems
             One of the advantages cited by the automotive industry for introducing agility in the way the
             vehicle diagnostics and software can be monitored and managed remotely is that the vehicle can
             have software additions made to it remotely to deliver new features or capability as the market is
             demanding them. This gives the capability to extend a single complex system to connect to other
             external functions and services and so become a system of systems. Because of the agility in the
             original system, the system is more capable of scaling up functionality without compromising
             resilience. This achievement of scalability through agility has been a key advantage to product
             developers.




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4.           Opportunities for Further Development 

             of Agile Infrastructures in Transport 

4.1          Introduction
4.1.1        Eddington – the case for further “better use” measures

  The Eddington Transport Study
  Extract from Summary of Volume 3: Meeting the challenge – prioritising the most effective
  policies December 2006

  There were four main messages which help summarise Volume 3 of the Eddington study,
  the fourth message was “small-scale and better-use policies can offer very good returns”.

  Para I.101-103

  “It is clear that ‘better use’ measures can offer economic benefits, including schemes to
  manage traffic flow and enhance the use of existing capacity on the strategic and urban
  road network, e.g. through high-occupancy vehicle lanes and urban traffic control centres.
  Although the quantified evidence of the study is limited, the schemes that have been
  analysed do suggest considerable potential, with wider BCRs [the conventional benefit:cost
  ratio (BCR)] above 5:1. Smart measures also have the potential to offer high returns,
  although worked-up BCR evidence is not available.

  Furthermore, well designed better-use measures, are likely to have minimal adverse – and
  can even have beneficial – impacts on the environment.

  ‘Mixed mode’ operations at airports is another better use measure. It allows runways to be
  used for both take-off and landing and can release capacity from existing runways. For
  instance, taking account of the environmental costs, the net lifetime benefit of this proposal
  at Heathrow could be £1.7bn over the period to 2060.”

  Better use measures are almost inevitably underpinned from having invested in an agile
  infrastructure in the first place or investment in the additional development required to make
  the existing infrastructure agile.




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4.1.2        Foresight Intelligent Infrastructure
             Referring back to the discussion on the Foresight Intelligent Infrastructure, and how this study has
             the opportunity to “stand on the shoulder of giants”. It is worth re-visiting the recommendations of
             that study on how to deliver an intelligent infrastructure to see if it provides any guidance on how
             we might recommend the onward development of an agile transport infrastructure.
             Effective IIS will depend on applying intelligence when designing transport systems and their
             alternatives and in creating the built environmental and infrastructures for transportation that
             deliver choice. We can do this through:
             •	      Spatial planning
             •	      Local or agile manufacturing
             •	      Integrated inter-modal transport
             •	      Virtual alternatives to travel
             Key themes which come out of the foresight intelligent infrastructure and discussions in other
             domains leads to:
             •	      It is essential to design infrastructure for intelligence. An infrastructure system can be
                     intelligent only if it contains the ability to gather data about its own performance and to inform
                     owners, operators and users. That information then allows users to make intelligent
                     decisions. A good example of this was Example 5 on self diagnosing and self healing
                     vehicles.
             •	      We must also design intelligence into infrastructure. For example, autonomous systems
                     that respond to environmental and usage issues to optimise the use of the network and
                     improve the safety of transport. One critical variable here is the reluctance of society to
                     accept technological based solutions which apparently take control away from the driver,
                     whilst not only delivering benefit to the system as a whole, e.g. automated car-following
                     distance, but also the individual, e.g. automatic re-routing away from congestion. For user
                     acceptance to improve there needs to be market led incentives to using such systems such
                     that the overall network performance benefits may be realised by the many.
             •	      Finally, there has to be the intelligent use of the intelligent infrastructure. Achieving such a
                     fundamental change in behaviour will take sustained efforts at education and public
                     awareness and probably charging for the fully externalised costs of travel. This applies to the
                     movement of goods, as much as people. One way to reduce movement is to improve the
                     efficiency of the way we move. For instance, how might we encourage delivery of freight to
                     ports closest to the freight’s final destination? In one scenario run on DfT’s GB freight model,
                     inland road transport movements were reduced by 75%, an annual saving of 3.1bn vehicle
                     kilometres, by reducing the average trip from 210km to just 47km.


             The Foresight work more generally on intelligent infrastructures helps to indicate that there are
             perhaps three main recommendation areas for the development of a more specific agile
             infrastructure. These can be considered on the three time-lines of short, medium and long-term as
             described in the following section.
             Short-term
             The single largest determining factor on the flexibility or agility of a transport network is the degree
             of flexibility of its users. Hence, the first short-term recommendation area is associated with the
             topical area of behaviour change. There is a rich tapestry of existing work on behavioural change
             within the transport sector but in the context of developing an agile infrastructure, the study team
             concluded that the short-term Quick Win could be gained from a more detailed consideration of
             behavioural inertia. This is directly connected to the theme of “intelligent use” of the infrastructure
             from the Foresight study.


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4.1.3        Behavioural Inertia
             Many transport network users have engrained preferences, be they long distance logistics
             companies or daily commuters, and they follow their preferences even in light of strong evidence
             that it may not be the optimum option on any particular day. Trying to change people's behaviours
             is difficult, striving to get people onto public transport being a prime example of this. To make
             people change how they travel, and to achieve it in a short time scale, requires very strong stimuli
             and can involve complex competition between various factors. For example, reducing congestion
             by whatever means actually makes people more inclined to travel by car, counteracting a desired
             modal shift.
             Additionally, in the rail mode the issue is that of utility. Many rail users have a set of expectations
             based on the rail network – how long they are prepared to wait for a train, what number of train
             changes they are prepared to accept and so forth. If the rail journey takes twice as long as driving
             and is twice as expensive then increasing the agility of the service is unlikely to attract a dramatic
             change in modal choice patterns.
             In the short term it is suggested that the desired strong stimuli could be achieved by
             •       Promoting agile user practices through education
             •       Enabling agile user practices with planning tools and cooperation with industry
             In some areas this has already started to happen. Some commuters are making use of flexible
             working hours to travel outside of peak periods, resulting in a demand peak that is longer in period
             but smaller in maximum intensity. Other initiatives such as home working or car sharing are also
             becoming more commonplace. There is a continuing role here for government in providing an
             atmosphere supportive of innovation, for example through funding mechanisms such as the
             Technology Strategy Board.
             In the simplest case, better information to travellers can improve the efficiency of their journeys
             and also the efficiency of use of the infrastructure. Existing driver guidance systems are largely
             based on static information and there is considerable scope to include more real time information
             to optimise journeys.
             Medium-term
             In surveying the state of the art within transport, building on the success within a single mode
             within the development of the concept of Active Traffic Management (ATM) through to Managed
             Motorways (MM); the study team felt that there was a major opportunity for significant impact from
             bringing this agile thinking ideas up a level and considering multi-modal strategic journey planning
             and dynamic routing. This is directly connected to the theme of designing the infrastructure for
             intelligence.
4.1.4        Multi Modal Strategic and Dynamic Rerouting
             One of the core benefits of a flexible transport system is the ability to maintain the journey time
             reliability of a large number of individuals using the transport network. There are examples of this
             being done in virtually every mode. On roads, blockage of strategic routes results in long distance
             rerouting onto other strategic roads using VMS signs. Likewise on rail, major disruptions to the
             network can be bypassed. For air, when flights are cancelled passengers are moved to other
             flights or even rerouted through other airports / countries. These are all tried and tested
             techniques. However, these are all single mode solutions.
             There are some rerouting strategies that are multimodal, such as when rail links fail and travellers
             are moved onto buses. However, these types of intervention are only ever on a local scale and
             are not generally applied at the strategic scale.
             To apply dynamic rerouting at a strategic scale across multiple modes is highly demanding. The
             scope of organisations that need to be coordinated is wide, stretching across government and
             industry bodies, large organisations to small operators, and across a range of geographical
             boundaries. Coupled to this are a range of human factor issues, not only is it necessary to provide
             sufficient information to the network user to allow them to understand how to use the network,

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             (such as mobile accessible dynamic timetables) but also providing the necessary confidence that
             the separate network services will be capable of delivering.
             However, once such enablers are in place and improved they will have a significant impact. This is
             because of the fact that the elements moving across the transport network are independent
             intelligent agents and as such, can make complex (although primarily selfish) decisions about their
             travel arrangements, even beyond the original intended use of the infrastructure (consider the
             existence of airplane commuters). The continued provision of on demand information, perhaps
             coupled with innovations such as multi-modal through ticketing, would remove inhibitors stopping
             people from making optimal use of the network.
             Long-term
             Designing the future transport infrastructure for agility from the outset. This is directly connected to
             the theme of designing the infrastructure for intelligence.
             Designing the infrastructure for agility from the outset: There are a number of programmes
             that are at their near infancy in terms of mass roll-out, such as: the design of Cooperative Vehicle
             Highways Systems (CVHS), Cooperative Active Safety (COAS), as well as the more generalised
             approaches to enable agility, such as common communications protocols or open system
             software architectures; the role for the Department is to specify the requirement for agility up-front
             within the design of future systems. This will require some detailed consideration of the capability-
             based or requirements-based specification for future systems. A study is recommended to
             consider this further, such that longer-term programmes within the Department can then be
             encouraged to “think more agile”. This approach should learn heavily from the principles and
             examples in the other domains of how agile approaches have already been adopted and brought
             into service.




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5. 	 Developing Use of Agile Infrastructures
     in the Department for Transport
             The think piece is intended to contribute to this process by considering how, in future, utilisation or
             capacity might feasibly be flexed quickly in response to demand. In particular, the use of
             personalised, real-time journey management is of interest.
             It has been noted that potential areas for application to support the Department's policy and
             operational needs include
             •       asset management
             •       balance of investment and operational analysis
             •       transport planning
             •       exploration of options for integrated transport
             •       improving forecasting and estimating capabilities
             •       developing an understanding of the strategic and operational impacts of decisions
             •       managing and reducing risks
             •       crisis management.
             The areas mentioned above where an agile approach seems most relevant are asset
             management, balancing investment, integrated transport, risk management and crisis
             management.
             Among the aims of earlier chapters was to show that developments in agile infrastructure are
             emerging rapidly, are relevant to transport and, in many cases, are already being applied. There
             is no doubt that an agile approach provides opportunities in many topics that interest DfT.
             The correct emphasis seems to be on a more deliberate attitude to agility. In particular, what is
             different about the foreseeable future that makes a departure from past practice appropriate such
             that agility is a planned activity, rather than mainly an opportunistic or accidental one? To an
             extent, this is characterised by:
             •       An explosion in technology and automation;
             •       An even greater explosion in data and information delivery and dependency;
             •       Improved abilities to predict, including synthetic environments;
             •       All within an environment where much is unknown and agility is therefore essential.



5.1 	        The role of government – why should government do it?
             DfT, itself or through its agents, has a range of responsibilities, including:
             •       Development of national infrastructure
             •       Management of the assets and key services
             •       Funding or facilitating the transport activity of others (e.g. local authorities)
             •       Planning and forecasting
             •       Methods development and good practice guidance

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             •       Regulation
             DfT is not in a position to control all transport activity or to demand an agile approach. It does,
             however, have enormous influence and is in the best position to facilitate and promote good
             practice, which can then be adopted by others.



5.2          Next steps for DfT
             Enabling actions could include:
             •       Awareness/education campaign of agile thinking by transport practioners
             •       Development of the modelling framework to underpin the process
             •       Preparation of a check-list for new agile projects
             •       Showing by example – case studies
             •       Building on existing good examples
             •       Facilitating consensus building and standards development
             •       Working with private sector leaders who will often make key moves
             •       Route-map for onward development

5.3          Measuring the benefits
             Many of the opportunities for an agile infrastructure are amenable to measurement. If an
             alternative involves the capital costs of infrastructure, an agile result can be set against that. If
             journey reliability improves, congestion can be reduced, environment is enhanced or there is a
             reduction in journey times. There are conventional ways of measuring such benefits, to set against
             the costs of achieving them.
             Some of the opportunities for agility are relatively novel and it might be necessary to adapt
             predictive techniques to facilitate measurement. ITEA Division of the DfT is commissioning
             investigation into modelling improvements to cope with predicting some of the special
             characteristics of new forms of network management, such as ATM, congestion charging or lanes
             dedicated to specific vehicles. There is also considerable opportunity to use synthetic
             environments to assess the benefits of agile techniques.
             Of course, some methods are harder to measure, such as user satisfaction or improved
             opportunities for personal activities resulting from agile use of the infrastructure. While these
             might not be quantifiable, they can nevertheless be recognised.



5.4          Opportunities and risks
             In general, one is talking about overlaying agility onto existing infrastructure rather than building
             for agility. The latter is certainly possible, through additional capacity or smart configuration, and
             agility should be part of a specification when new facilities are to be constructed.
             There are strong techniques available to support an agile approach. These include network
             management theory and control theory, simulation for planning and real time simulation ‘in the
             loop’ of an agile infrastructure. Other domains, such as defence or manufacturing, offer examples
             of planning long term for agility. Some adaptation and development is likely to be needed to suit
             the particular issues of transport.
             Perhaps the greatest opportunities lie in influencing the users of transport, drivers, passengers
             and freight operators. These people can be advised or directed to make better use of the network
             or to use it differently (or not at all, in some cases). For this, information systems delivery,



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             including real-time, is key. This can be built in alongside intelligent transport systems but requires
             considerable design and standardisation activity to reap the full benefits.
             Agile use of the infrastructure can bring major gains but also carries risks. Sometimes these can
             be apparent and included in planning or operations, sometimes unexpected. It is necessary to
             consider risk assessment and mitigation when designing for agility.




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6.           Conclusions
6.1          Findings and Recommendations
             This chapter lists the main conclusions of this think piece and provides some recommendations. It
             was not within the scope of this brief review to design or cost any recommendations. However,
             this can be done if required.
             Agile systems have two key properties: flexibility and resilience. These two properties are
             consistently present in successful agile systems
             Different types of agile performance are required depending on the timescales involved, from built
             in reactive measures to longer term agile planning and operational management of transport
             infrastructure.
             When considering agile infrastructures for the transport sector there can be three ways in which
             agility can be achieved:
             •	      Firstly through designing the infrastructure to have agility
             •	      Secondly for the users of the infrastructure to be influenced to use the infrastructure in an
                     agile manner
             •	      Thirdly, which is valid but likely to be less productive, is to seek opportunities to improve
                     agility of the existing infrastructure
             The timescales over which agility is being considered is critical to the methods that may be
             employed to deliver the agility.
             There are important lessons to be learned from agile implementations in non-transport domains.
             •	      Robust information must be available and used by the controlling elements of the system
             •	      If manual intervention is to be minimised, intelligent decision making must feature in the
                     system
             •	      Elements of the system must be re-configurable. Not all of the system has to be agile, only
                     key interfaces
             •	      Agility should be a primary requirement of new systems and so form an integral part of the
                     systems architecture
             •	      In order to fully understand the requirements for agility in the system and how best to realise
                     the full benefits a system of systems approach is recommended.
             •	      There are strong leadership examples of agility from non-transport domains. These have
                     been developed out of a necessity to be agile to be able to cope with uncertain and dynamic
                     conditions.
             There are strong early examples of agility through ATM and its continued roll-out. However this is
             currently constrained to using the existing infrastructure in agile ways rather than designing a truly
             agile system.
             Similarly, capability such as Transport Direct is a key enabler of empowering travellers to use the
             infrastructure in a more agile way. However, much more could be done within such a platform to
             achieve effective agility of information delivery.




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6.2          Recommendations
6.2.1        Overview
             The recommendations can be considered on three timescales of short, medium and long-term
             actions:
             •	      In the short-term, work on people’s behaviour to deliver agility; as there is a lot more room
                     for flex in people than there is in concrete, even if they are a lot less compliant !!! The focus
                     will be on improved information delivery to influence travel choices, such as routes, timing of
                     journeys, alternatives to travel, etc.
             •	      In the medium-term, continue the improvement to information delivery by adding real time
                     feeds to conventionally static sources, such as Transport Direct and in-vehicle navigation. In
                     addition to improving the effectiveness of the short-term actions, concentrate on more difficult
                     choices, such as choice of mode or inter-modality.
             •	      In the long-term, there is scope to design in agility from the outset and the onus is on DfT to
                     specify agile performance in the requirements that they write. That, in itself, requires study to
                     design the specifications. (MoD undertook substantial spending on up-front programmes).
6.2.2        Specific recommendations
             Recommended actions for the DfT are as follows:
             •	      Develop an awareness and educational campaign of ‘agile’ thinking by transport practitioners.
                     Show by example with case studies. Such a campaign should have an external interface to
                     the wider transport industry.
             •	      Instigate a study into the direction agile infrastructure should take after the current generation
                     of ATM has been installed and commissioned. Utilise system of systems approaches and
                     map out developments highlighting where technology changes are facilitating new
                     approaches.
             •	      Facilitate agile thinking by work on standards, modelling tools (real time and predictive) and
                     consensus building with influential partners. Undertake research in agile information delivery.
                     Undertake/commission studies into economic evaluation of different types of agility.
             •	      Design agility in from the outset. Develop an approach and checklist for including agile
                     elements in new investment. Capitalise on the convergence of technology.
             •	      Build on successful aspects of existing good examples in transport such as Transport Direct
                     and in-vehicle navigation systems. Review future developments of Transport Direct and
                     consider how it can promote and enable agile behaviour further than it is doing today.
             •	      Develop a route-map for onward development – future-casting to position agile thinking in the
                     next decade, with a rolling programme for development. Systems of systems, synthetic
                     environments and intelligent land use will all have a valuable role in this timeframe and the
                     DfT should work towards a leadership position for agile thinking and implementation




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7.           Appendix
A.1          Department for Transport Specification
             The Eddington review recognised that well-targeted infrastructure options can offer high returns
             on Government expenditure and recommended enhancing the performance of existing networks,
             rather than extending them. Of considerable interest, in terms of enhancing network performance,
             are short-term measures, or combinations of measures, that can:
             •	       Be implemented quickly in response to changes in demand
             •	       Make more effective use of the transport system (utilisation) and/or quickly increase effective
                      capacity of the available fixed infrastructure
             The Think Piece will contribute to this process by:
             •	       Considering how, in future, utilisation or capacity might feasibly be flexed quickly in response
                      to demand. This might include:
                  o   options that may become available on a 10 -30 year timescale
                  o   how agile solutions might be applied in specific locations
                  o   understanding the key benefits, risk and uncertainties associated with such solutions
                  o   how the way that risks and uncertainties inform policy interventions might be improved
             •	       Examining whether agile infrastructure is dependent on delivering timely information about
                      infrastructure status to the infrastructure user. This might include
                  o   the implications of information dependency on agile infrastructure performance
                  o   infrastructure as a customer service
             •	       Clarify the role(s) the Department and its executive agencies might have in facilitating this
                      process
             •	       Highlight the UK leaders in agile infrastructure thinking and application. Is there existing good
                      practice elsewhere in government?
             The findings will help raise awareness across the Department of the potential for considering agile
             infrastructures in development of transport policy.




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