Presentations from the Internet of Cars Symposium

Presentations from the Internet of Cars Symposium (24/9/14, University of Southampton)

Understanding traffic patterns and regular travellers using registration plate data – Dr. Tom Cherrett (University of Southampton) –

Apps that use the car as an information and object carrier – Prof. Chris Speed (University of Edinburgh) –

London City Dashboard – visualising flows and movements in London – Dr. Andy Hudson-Smith (University College London) -

6th Sense Travel: anticipating connections in a reciprocal travel community – Prof. Janet Dickinson (Bournemouth University) –

Making connections and scheduling on the route to school – the Smartphone enabled Walking School Bus – Dr. Sarah Norgate and Nichola Street (University of Salford) –

Using smartphones and smart sensors to connect Oxfam’s donation infrastructure – Dr. Tom Cherrett (University of Southampton) –

The Smart Streets Hub: An Internet of Things Approach to Highways Maintenance – Prof. Nigel Davies (Lancaster University) –

LinkLocal: Making local connections

When: 1st July 1.15 – 2.30pm
Where: Langleys, Motorpoint Arena Cardiff

As part of the AHRC Connected Communities Festival, Communities within Spaces of Flows are running a workshop to demonstrate LinkLocal, our new iPhone app. The workshop will demonstrate how a social network can be utilised to provide social assistance within a community. Participants will be loaned a smartphone with the app pre-installed, they will be given a map of the local area and asked to walk a specified route imagining that it was part of their daily routine. They will have the task of moving an object to a place that is not part of their route, this will involve calling on the community for help. Along the way they will also be asked to provide assistance to other users in the form of delivering objects from one place to another or helping out with ‘shopping’. This activity shows how a smartphone app might be used in day-to-day life to request or provide support within a set community.

Places are limited so please email Janet Dickinson ( to guarantee a spot. Some places may be available on the day.

We look forward to seeing you in Cardiff,

Chris Speed (Edinburgh University), Janet Dickinson and Julia Hibbert (Bournemouth University)
Communities within Spaces of Flows

Internet of Cars Symposium

24 September 2014, Hartley Suite, University of Southampton 09.30 – 16.30

The Internet of Cars distributed exhibition and symposium is the culmination of a three year research project entitled Sixth Sense Transport and the work of its research team that has developed technologies to help understand the potential for new forms of networked transport. The themes presented in the symposium reflect the researchers’ interests in how networked technology can help inform and reveal new opportunities for travel.


The title of the event “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 symposium brings together academics, transport experts and other interested parties to explore what an Internet of Cars might be like.


09.30 Registration and Coffee

10.00 Welcome by John Preston Head of the Civil, Maritime and Environmental Engineering and Science Unit and Professor of Rail Transport at the University of Southampton

10.10 Introduction to the Day by Chris Speed, University of Edinburgh and Tom Cherrett, University of Southampton.

10.20 Part 1: The Internet of Cars, chaired by Janet Dickinson

10.20 -10.40 Understanding traffic patterns and regular travellers using registration plate data – Dr. Tom Cherrett Senior Lecturer in Logistics and Transport Planning, University of Southampton.

10.45 – 11.05 Apps that use the car as an information and object carrier – ‘Travelling Treasures’ and ‘CoGet’ – Professor Chris Speed, Chair of Design Informatics, University of Edinburgh.

11.10 -11.30 Intelligent mobility for rural areas: a user-centric approach – Professor John Nelson, Chair in Transport Studies at the University of Aberdeen.

11.30 -11.50 Questions / Discussion

11.50 -12.10 Visualising the Internet of Cars through digital art: Introduction to the Internet of Cars exhibition art works – Helen Sloan, Director SCAN.

12.15 – 13.15 Lunch

13.15 Part 2: Understanding travel movement and the role for ubiquitous computing and the scope for connected vehicles – Chaired by Tom Cherrett

13.15 – 13.35 6th Sense Camping: Understanding flow and movement in a leisure setting – Dr. Janet Dickinson, Senior Lecturer in Tourism Management, Bournemouth University.

13.40 – 14.00 London City Dashboard – visualising flows and movements in London – Dr. Andy Hudson-Smith, Director and Deputy Chair of the Bartlett Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis (CASA) at University College London.

14.05 – 14.25 Connected vehicles: current trends, future scope, key issues – Andy Graham, White Willow Consulting.

14.25 – 14.45 Questions / Discussion

15.05 Part 3: Technology to aid transport connections and network management – Chaired by Chris Speed

15:05 – 15:25 Making connections and scheduling on the route to school – the Smartphone enabled Walking School Bus – Dr. Sarah Norgate, Senior Lecturer in Psychology, University of Salford.

15.30 – 15.50 Using smartphones and smart sensors to connect Oxfam’s donation infrastructure – Dr Tom Cherrett, Senior Lecturer in Logistics and Transport Planning, University of Southampton.

15.55 – 16.15 The Smart Streets Hub: An Internet of Things Approach to Highways Maintenance – Professor Nigel Davies, Professor of Mobile Computing, Lancaster University.

16.15 – 16.30 Questions / Discussions

16.30 Reflection & Close

16.40 Networking Opportunity

To book a free place, please go to the registration website:

or contact Karen Ghali (

For more information on directions to the University of Southampton

CoGet @ Future Everything

We are experimenting with our social logistics software CoGet at Future Everything in March:

Based upon the research from the Sixth Sense Transport project that combined social networking with locative media to support collaborative travel practices, CoGet makes a further leap toward a future in which objects borrow our daily routines to move themselves around.

We are running a serious of experimental workshops – see below for blurb

Sign up here to play:

and this is the link to the CoGet iPhone App:


CoGet: Things Move People Around

Co-things is a public experiment that uses software to predict where things need to be, and borrows the legs of humans to move them.

The CoGet workshop and experiments introduce the CoGet iPhone software that reveals where things want to go, and asks the public to move them on their behalf. Connected to the net, and able to read the social complexity of a local area, CoGet lets objects control people’s movements by predicting where they need to be, and borrowing the legs of a human to move them.

To get involved and experience CoGet we have two types of workshop that let you become a node in the movement of some ‘thing’ across a small part of the city:

Demo : How to CoGet including street test
The Demo’s are structured workshops that guide people through the use of the software and end in a performance. We will provide a small selection of iPhones for those who don’t have their own.

Experiments: Let’s see if it works
Experiments are semi-structured events in which previous workshop participants or people who are comfortable in using the iPhone app take part in moving objects.

Across the connected city small things play a large part in sustaining the flow between people and places. Cups of tea, bottles of water, books, four way plug adaptors, bicycles, computers and many more objects are the ‘things’ that support the meeting of people and the jobs that they do. However sometimes these things aren’t where we need them, and flow is halted. If things knew where they were likely to be needed, perhaps they could ask passers-by to move them there.

Day 1
10.00 Demo : How to CoGet including street test
12.00 Experiment: Let’s see if it works
14.00 Demo : How to CoGet including street test
16.00 Experiment: Let’s see if it works

Day 2
10.00 Demo : How to CoGet including street test
12.00 Experiment: Let’s see if it works
14.00 Demo : How to CoGet including street test
16.00 Experiment: Let’s see if it works

You can download the CoGet iPhone application for free from the AppStore

Presented as part of City Fictions, a speculative near future city. Institution: transportation.

Internet of Cars: A Distributed Exhibition & Public Talks

Based upon the research context detailed above, the academic team are working with SCAN, an arts/technology agency, to develop an exhibition for May 2014. The aspiration of the exhibition is to offer audiences and communities the potential to rethink how or what a future transport network might be.

Another type of robots (preview) by featured artist Stanza

Partnering with John Hansard Gallery, Southampton; Bridport Arts Centre; Dorchester Arts Centre; Harbour Lights Cinema, Southampton; and Intech, Winchester, we will present a series of artworks developed specifically by artists who have worked with 6ST data both collected from the project in real time and in the past:

Six project proposals have been received from international renowned artists:

Polak and van Bekkum will use live feeds from ANPR traffic data and Southampton shipping data to generate a sound landscape that plays the different paces of transport coming in and out, and around the Southampton area.

Lanfranco Aceti’s artwork Self-Driven assumes that people can be cars. Literally. Aceti will run a series of workshops in which people will adopt characteristics of cars and explore how ‘being a car’ changes how you relate to people.

Halford and Beard’s piece entitled Router is a short poetic film which explores the concept of a road traffic accident blackspot in the context of the routes tracked by the 20 ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Reader) cameras around Southampton City Centre.

Hollington & Kyprianou’s work The Car That Turned is a road movie that’s structure is derived from the patterns that emerge from data collected by the UK’s ANPR system.

Shingleton’s installation Manifesting the flow of CO2 visualises emissions of CO2 based upon live APNR data. As vehicles are scanned graphic clouds are visualised to represent the real-time flow of carbon between Dorchester and Weymouth.

Stanza’s work A New Order Beyond The Fourth Dimension uses robots that will read transport data gathered through 6ST to draw the state of the transport systems around the South Coast.

In addition to the artworks that are distributed across the venues during the two week show, a series of public talks will connect the 6ST research, including experts from the fields of computer science, transport, tourism, psychology and design, with artworks allowing the public and press to connect the abstract with the real, and the science with the experiences of modern and future transport. Using iOS and Android apps the public will be able to spot themselves within artworks, installations and visualisations extending the impact of the work by making it personal.

Fronting Motion from PolakVanBekkum

Salford and Lancaster Universities win national sustainable travel award

Salford and Lancaster Universities win national sustainable travel award

L-R: Stephen Moody of David Richards Ltd (sponsor); Nikki Jones, University of Salford; Dr Sarah Norgate, University of Salford; Chris Winstanley, Lancaster University.

The Universities of Salford and Lancaster have won a national transport award for a smartphone app which allows parents to keep track of their child’s walking school bus and aims to reduce congestion at school gates.

The Modeshift awards are designed to recognise schemes and activities which support and encourage sustainable travel. The Universities were awarded the ‘partnership’ category for working with Transport for Greater Manchester, North West Modeshift and local primary schools to develop the ‘Where’s My Walking School Bus’ smartphone app.

Walking school buses have been set up around the country to reduce congestion on the roads, encourage physical exercise, increase road safety awareness and address the concerns of parents who are reluctant to let their children walk to school on their own.

Salford psychologists Dr Sarah Norgate and Nikki Jones teamed up with researchers Chris Winstanley, Mike Harding and Professor Nigel Davies from Lancaster University to encourage the use of walking school buses by developing the app. It allows registered parents to visually track their children as they walk to school, stopping at scheduled points along the way.

Dr Sarah Norgate, Senior Lecturer in Psychology, said: “The diversity of partnerships involved has strengthened the delivery of the project. This product is designed by users for users, and our vision is to see it launched as an indicator of ‘smart growth’ in Greater Manchester.”

Steve Glazebrook, Smarter Choices Officer at Transport for Greater Manchester and North West representative for Modeshift, said: “This resource is the necessary link for traditional travel choice interventions and new technology and provides a platform for incorporating existing and new sustainable transport initiatives.”

St Hugh of Lincoln RC Primary in Stretford helped to trial the app. Head Teacher Mr Mountcastle said: “It was a brilliant way to encourage the children, not only to walk to school but to use technology in a creative and practical way.”

The project is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and is part of the wider Sixth Sense Transport initiative between the University of Salford, Lancaster University, University of Southampton, University of Edinburgh and Bournemouth University to develop apps that will encourage more sustainable travel options.

For more information about the app, please contact Dr Norgate

Things move people around

So this is interesting for Internet of Things experiences. Objects telling us to where they want to go…

Part of the Tourism Work Package led by Janet Dickinson and Julia Hibbert from Bournemouth University has involved working with visitors to the Tom’s Field campsite in Purbeck. The visitors have been using the Sixth Sense Tourism app for iPhones that let’s users share information about where they are, what they can share: car journeys or collect things from nearby shops for them.

At the RGS Conference in August I got a chance to play and it was a very unusual experience. Usually when we ask for ‘things’ we are in close contact with the system that will provide it for us. For example I can pop into a corner shop and buy a bar of chocolate from the shop keeper. One more degree of separation away from this I can order a bar of chocolate from an online supermarket store and a nice man/woman delivers it – but that’s their job so no surprises there.

But in this workshop 20 or so participants roamed the area around the conference and in pairs they used the 6ST App to request objects to be delivered to them, and picked up tasks to do some delivering. Objects were scattered across a small area of South Kensington including tennis balls, fly swatters and beach balls. As participants moved in to the ‘field’ from the workshop HQ they could pick up tasks to move objects around from one location to another. They could also request objects to be purchased from nearby shops and delivered to a desired location.

The extraordinary part of the experience was watching objects move around the streets in the care of subservient humans. Because carriers didn’t know the purpose of the object, they could be seen carrying an object to another location as though the object was leading the way.

My workshop partner and I requested some chocolates, the request was accepted by strangers also taking part in the workshop and 45 minutes later the chocolates turned up back at base. It is this flow of things that seemed quite amazing – as though objects are able to move themselves into position in the world to help people out.

This is a quick and dirty video of the event and you’ll see what I mean as objects flowed from one space to another with the help of humans:


Research context;

The work is part of the larger Sixth Sense Transport project that involves case studies across the domains of Tourism, Logistics and Education.

This is a deeper video describing how the Tourism app works and how it supports collaborative practices including:

  • Provision of lifts;
  • Cooperative shopping for various items (food, drinks, camping gas);
  • Cooperative transportation of equipment (e.g. beach gear, BBQ) for fellow tourists;
  • Recommendations about local tourism products and services.

and a further video of the Logistics Case Study that Southampton and Edinburgh developed for moving ‘things’ around Oxfam:

In both instances it is the flow of things that is particularly interesting for the Internet of Things. How social networks across people allow products to be moved with great ease – or in the case of the RGS workshop even seem to gain a life of their own as not everyone in the network knows what an object is for, or who it is for.

Duncan Shingleton RA to 6ST uncovered this video which provides a ‘thing’ perspective on their movement through the human world:


Digital Economy workshop

We’re running the workshop again at the RCUK Digital Economy Open Digital conference in Manchester at the end of November. More information here:

If you fancy it sign up…

Spaces of Flows 1.0: A working experience using Sixth Sense Transport technology

“the space of flows . . . links up distant locales around shared functions and meanings on the basis of electronic circuits and fast transportation corridors, while isolating and subduing the logic of experience embodied in the space of places” (Himanen, 2001).

The networks that constitute businesses, organisations and social groups often retain consistent patterns of movement and flow across time and space. Tourists visit the same locations in a city, shops use the consistent suppliers who in turn use the same routes to supply goods to the shops, and social networks walk the same streets to the same bars on a regular basis. Although not predictable, these patterns may allow opportunities for exchange and potentially energy saving if networks are shared and commonalities correlated at a database level. The aim of this workshop is to introduce participants to two new smart phone Apps that demonstrate how network technology can use patterns within existing industrial and social activities to reveal new opportunities for sharing.

Proposed Activities & Outcomes

1. Introduction

An introduction to Sixth Sense Transport research work will set the scene of the research challenges that explore how to reduce/re-distribute transport options through a flexible interpretation of time.

2. Physical activity

This workshop will loan smartphones to participants and embed them within a social network using the Sixth Sense Travel App to explore the flow of objects and information across Media City:

The Sixth Sense Travel App, designed for a campsite community, gives people a sense of being in time by enabling users to follow the collective physical traces of other users in the past, present and, based on space-time memories, into the future. This enables users to make sense of network movements so they can reflect on their place in the social network across space and time.

Workshop participants will be set travel tasks based on the collection of objects around the Media City conference venues. This replicates a shopping trip activity and demonstrates how an awareness of others within a social network might create opportunities for collaboration and reduce the need for car trips.

3. Reflection

Following the activity we will re-convene to reflect upon the experience.

The experience will highlight the opportunities for collaboration and reduce the need for car/van trips. Following the activity we will re-convene to discuss how the activity offers opportunities across the Digital Economy and reflect upon the following questions:

  1. What insights did the experience reveal: personal, social, ethical, technical or other?
  2. To what extent did the demonstration of the App offer an insight into the potential for sharing resources?
  3. Can the group identify opportunities for similar application of the technology and how might the approach address the Conference Challenges areas: Sustainable Society, Communities & Culture

The reflective session will also allow an opportunity for the team to extend discussion through the commercial application of the research in the Sixth Sense Logistics App developed for Oxfam. The App is designed to improve the visibility of transport options and facilitate collaboration for Oxfam shop managers and area managers at the local level. The app allows Oxfam’s local communities to better engage and visualise the state of assets and the location of transport both in the present and into the immediate future. In a dynamic and continually evolving business setting, this can help make better commercial decisions.

Technical & Accommodation Requirements

The research team will provide 10 smart phones preinstalled with the Apps, and it is anticipated that participants will work in groups of 2 offering 20 places in total on the workshop.

The team require a room with data projector to accommodate 25 people with easy access to the outdoors.

Any Additional Information / Comments

We anticipate that the workshop will involve a fair amount of movement around the Media City complex so we would ask participants to consider this when applying.


The Sixth Sense Transport project is supported by an Energy/Digital Economy UK Research Councils grant. Additional credits go to the wider 6ST team: Cherrett, T., Davies, N., Filimonau, V., Ghali, K., Harding, M., Hibbert, J., Kubitza, T., Lau, M., Mcleod, F.N., Norgate, S., Shingleton, D., Smith, L., Winstanley, C.


Castells, M. (1996) Rise of The Network Society. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing.

Himanen, P. (2001) Informationalism and the Network Society” in The Hacker Ethic and the Spirit of the Information Age. New York, Random House pp. 155–78

BBC – Taxi technology: Why catching a cab will never be the same

Interesting and relevant news story from the BBC

The days when people phoned for a taxi or simply hailed one on the street may be coming to an end. Technology is revolutionising the way we catch a cab with a ride now just a click away through mobile phone apps like like Uber, Lyft, Sidecar, Instantcab and Flywheel.

Many of these services are part of the so-called “sharing economy” in which car owners offer to drive strangers in exchange for a “donation”.

California has just become the first state in the US to regulate ride-sharing, a move that has angered traditional taxi drivers.

Alastair Leithead spent a day in Los Angeles exploring some of the new ways of getting around.

Chris Winstanley at the University of Colima

Chris, Research Assistant and Developer for 6ST Apps was recently in Mexico to present work.

“Christopher Winstanley, of the University of Lancaster, UK talking on behaviour change in the habits and practices of urban transport, in the International Conference of Information Technology 2013, which was carried out at the University of Colima.”