‘Smart’ Autonomous vehicles in cities of the future

Morton, Richard and Dunn, Nicholas Simon and Coulton, Paul and Richards, Daniel Courtney (2017) ‘Smart’ Autonomous vehicles in cities of the future. In: Mobile Utopia, 2017-11-022017-11-05, Lancaster University.

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Over the last century, cities have been reconfigured to move cars around in the most efficient way. Road networks were first developed as military infrastructure, but soon became consumed by trade and commuters; driving the economy, and reconfiguring the city. The result is a landscape that can be difficult to navigate, without the density to be walkable, or supported by mass transit. Driving is not productive and prevents us from performing tasks that we value. The future concepts of autonomous vehicles are no longer based around driving, they are being re-imagined as our new Smartphone; always present, highly configurable and embedded into every aspect of our lives. Current developers of driverless vehicles place AI technologies, cloud mapping and embedded smart devices at the centre of their concepts in an attempt to create an intelligently filtered city. Developers of these technologies such as Google will play a central role in determining how this newly filtered city will be presented to us. The likes of Google will have the ability to subversively control vehicle movements and engagements within the city through their embedded autonomous technologies. By applying speculative design methods to urban data, how people and vehicles currently engage with the city, we can design and project the impact that autonomous technologies and their control protocols may have. Through speculative design methods this paper will use visualising techniques to communicate the findings. This will enable us to better understand the opportunities and challenges that such technologies may present to the city and its users. To understand where areas of conflict and redundancy in the city may exist and how our city may be reconfigured. The insights gained from this work could help to inform key stakeholders of the challenges that driverless cars present to cities of the future and their users.

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Contribution to Conference (Paper)
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Mobile Utopia
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29 Mar 2018 15:06
Last Modified:
22 Nov 2022 14:26