Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton
AerospaceOur research

Research project: Sixth Sense Transport

Currently Active: 

Smartphones are becoming ever more popular and now give us the ability to plan events, obtain information and communicate with others at a time and place convenient to us. Using the tracking ability in smartphones, can we use them to understand how we might be able to meet up with other people or ‘things’ (e.g. tagged vehicles or facilities) by better anticipating their movements? The 6th Sense Transport project is exploring the opportunities (reduced cost, time and carbon) that can be provided by improving temporal and spatial visibility of various transport options using Smartphones.  This project was completed in September 2014.

The project is being led by the University of Southampton (Tom Cherrett, Transportation Research Group) and involves a collaboration between the University of Lancaster (Nigel Davies, School of Computing and Communications), Bournemouth University (Janet Dickinson, International Centre for Tourism and Hospitality Research), University of Salford (Sarah Norgate, College of Health and Social Care) and University of Edinburgh (Chris Speed, Architecture and Landscape Architecture).
Our research vision is to understand the extent to which behavioural change in transport habits and practices can be facilitated through the creation of a new form of ‘transport network’, based on extending social networking principles to transport users and their individual vehicles using smartphones.

This is being explored across four domains:
1) Education (University of Salford)
Can smartphones be used to give parents greater visibility of journey-to-school options through intelligent ‘walking school buses’ (WSBs)?

2) Tourism (Bournemouth University)
In a tourism setting, can campers use smartphone technology to get a greater understanding of tourist movements to events and attractions, and an improved sense of community with a view to increasing lift sharing and collaborative shopping?

3) Logistics (University of Southampton)
Focussing on a case study with Oxfam, can smartphones be used by communities of shop managers, area managers and drivers to better visualise and anticipate transport movements and create better community engagement to benefit the business?

Find out more at

Sixth Sense Transport
Sixth Sense Transport
Sixth Sense Transport
Sixth Sense Transport

Related research groups

Transportation Group
Sixth Sense Transport
Sixth Sense Transport



Share this research project Share this on Facebook Share this on Twitter Share this on Weibo
Privacy Settings