Creative and Industry Approaches to Mobility in the Age of the Internet of Things, Blockchain and Data (CIAM)

  • Behrendt, Frauke (PI)

    Project Details


    Mobility and transport are increasingly becoming part of the networked society as self-driving cars are developed, hiring an Uber or a shared bike via smartphone becomes mainstream, alongside the use of insurance apps while driving, fitbit step tracking, 'smart bike lights' gathering sensor data, bus stops with real-time departure times, and cars notifying the garage when they need a service. 
    This shows how media are becoming an integral part of everyday mobility as different modes of transport (e.g. cars, bikes, public transport) generate an increasing amount of data, shared via networks, and interacted with through smartphones. 
    Cars and cycling are key for comparison here in order to explore a mode of transport where these technologies receive substantial industry investment and policy attention - cars, - with one that has huge untapped potential - cycling.
    This project develops a Media and Communication Studies perspective of these innovations and changes around mobility and transport, which foregrounds the media elements of our experiences of and interactions with contemporary mobilities. This shifts the perspective away from objects such as cars, bikes or buses, and towards the way mobility data is generated, shared and used, and what changes this brings for culture, society and industry. Our modes of transport are becoming part of 'The Internet of Things' (IoT) where an increasing number of everyday objects are networked and share data. 
    A Critical Data Studies approach to networked media and data was used, plus a Mobilities Studies perspective, to explore how our everyday physical mobilities are closely linked to our media mobilities.The industry is building new business models around data and IoT interactions. Blockchain is an emerging technology that can be used to capture the value of these interactions and to build new business models. 
    Mainly known for cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, blockchain also has major use cases for the IoT-driven data economy, including the transport/mobility sector. All major car manufacturers have partnered with blockchain startups or invested in them. 
    This project aims to understand how the emerging role of blockchain changes everyday experiences of media and mobility.The sustainability perspective that considers economic, social and ecological issues is also crucial to the fellowship: the ways blockchain technology could capture economic, social and environmental value from IoT and data-driven mobility, and how this translates into business models and user experience.
    Creative and industry approaches will be used, including analysis of case studies of artists/creatives engaging with car-based and bike-based media/mobilities alongside industry case studies. This creative/industry fusion approach draws on research showing how innovation thrives through 'fuse' or 'fusebox' approaches where creative artists come together with industry innovators and academic researchers, as outlined in the project events.The project responds to three 'Grand Challenges' set out in the UK Industrial Strategy: 'Growing the AI & Data-Driven Economy', 'The Future of Mobility', and the 'Shift to Clean Growth', thus contributing to industry needs to not just understand technical, economic and legal aspects of the IoT, blockchain and data in the context of mobility, but also to understand how everyday human engagement with these technologies is experienced, so that challenges and opportunities can be more fully understood.
    The leadership element of the project involves industry placements, shadowing of leading Professors, Visiting Fellowships, intense mentoring, international networking and organising events. Industry-facing outputs include two 'fuse' events, a website with a database of case studies, and a report. Academic outputs include a monograph, three journal articles, four conference presentations, plus organising a workshop and a symposium.
    Short titleCIAM
    Effective start/end date1/04/1931/03/21


    • Arts and Humanities Research Council


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