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The University of Southampton

Art projects explores ?The Internet of Cars?

Published: 29 May 2014

A unique visual art project called ‘The Internet of Cars’ is taking place across Hampshire and Dorset to explore and debate the use of cars in everyday life.

The seven-week project involves a multi-site series of exhibitions, talks, workshops and events, inspired by data and research from traffic flow analysis using automatic number plate reading (ANPR). Exhibitions and events will take place in a number of locations including Southampton (at Turner Sims concert hall and Guildhall Square), Bridport Arts Centre and Winchester Science Centre.

This Sunday (1 June) there will be demonstrations of mobile phone apps, artists work and research from Sixth Sense Transport at Winchester Science Centre from 2 to 5pm. This will be followed by artist talks, film screenings and a car flash mob throughout the evening.

The Internet of Cars is one of the outputs from the ‘Sixth Sense Transport’ research project, involving five university partners including the Universities of Southampton and Bournemouth. The project investigates how networked technology can help inform and reveal new opportunities for travel. It has also developed apps to promote a social and shared space for people who use vehicles and want to reduce their carbon footprint.

New art works, focusing particularly on the A354 road between Dorchester and Weymouth and city centre roads in Southampton, by Steve Beard and Victoria Halford, Ivar van Bekkum and Esther Polak, Simon Hollington and Kypros Kyprianou, Duncan Shingleton, Lanfranco Aceti and Stanza will be exhibited using traffic data derived from the two areas.

A series of events including film screenings, workshops and public talks will run alongside the exhibition, and there is also an iPhone and Android app allowing the public to participate. A free symposium, held at the University of Southampton on Wednesday 24 September, will bring together academics, transport experts and the general public to explore what an Internet of Cars might be like.

Tom Cherrett, Senior Lecturer in the University’s Transportation Research Group, says: “The Internet of Cars represents the possible futures that ubiquitous computing may have for new travel opportunities as networked technology finds connections between people, routes and both public and private modes of travel. To this day, transport systems remain tied to the 19th century model of clocks and timetables but as the real-time connections between ourselves, our cars, buses and trains are made, we are beginning to see new ways of getting around emerge.”

The events are curated by the digital and interdisciplinary arts agency SCAN and Sixth Sense Transport in partnership with Bridport Arts Centre, Dorset County Council, John Hansard Gallery, Winchester Science Centre and Southampton City Council.

For more details about The Internet of Cars and a full programme, please visit:

Notes for editors

  1. Sixth Sense Transport research is investigating the extent to which behavioural change and better understanding of 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, their individual vehicles and objects around them.

    Underpinned by models and theories about behaviour change, they have developed a series of innovative Apps for the Tourism, Transport and Logistics sectors that offer new ways for recalibrating the flow of people, transport and things.

    Sixth Sense Transport is a collaboration led by the University of Southampton with University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh College of Art; University of Salford; Bournemouth University and the University of Lancaster.


  2. The Internet of Cars exhibition has been made possible thanks to its funders EPSRC Tales of Engagement Award, Digital Economy (Research Councils UK) and Arts Council England. Thanks also to contributions from Design Informatics (University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh College of Art), University of Southampton and the John Hansard Gallery.


  3. SCAN is an agency founded in 2003 developing digital and interdisciplinary arts in the South of England. It works in partnership with a broad range of individuals, groups and institutions nationally and internationally to commission innovative projects that cross and merge disciplines drawn from arts, media, humanities, science and technology. SCAN explores ideas, sites and tools showing the creative potential that digital and interdisciplinary arts offer in our changing society.


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