The future shape of digital cars

Schroeter, Ronald & Rakotonirainy, Andry (2012) The future shape of digital cars. In Proceedings of the 2012 Australasian Road Safety Research, Policing and Education Conference, Australian College of Road Safety (ACRS), Wellington, New Zealand.

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Background. Digital information is increasingly becoming available on all aspects of the urban landscape, anywhere and any time. Physical objects (c.f. the Internet of Things) and people (c.f. the Social Web) are increasingly infused with actuators, sensors and tagged with a wealth of digital information. Urban Informatics explores these emerging digital layers of the city. However, very little is known about the challenges and new opportunities that these developments may offer to road users. As we gradually spend more time using our mobile devices as well as our car, the tension between appeasing our craving for connectedness and road safety requirements grow farther apart.

Objective. The aims of this paper are to identify (a) new opportunities that Urban Informatics research can offer to our future cars and (b) potential benefits to road safety.

Methods. 14 Urban Informatics research experts were grouped into seven teams of two to participate in a guided ideation (idea creation) workshop in a driving simulator. They were immersed into different driving scenarios to brainstorm innovative Urban Informatics applications in different driving contexts. This qualitative study was then evaluated in the context of road safety.

Outcomes. There is a lack of articulation between Urban Informatics and Road Safety research. Several Urban Informatics applications (e.g., to enhance social interaction between people in urban environments) may provide benefits, rather than threats, towards road safety, provided they are implemented ergonomically and safely.

Conclusions. This research initiates a much-needed dialogue between Urban Informatics and Road Safety disciplines, in the context of Intelligent Transport Systems, before the fast approaching digital wave invades our cars. The dialogue will help to avoid driver distraction issues similar to mobile phones use in cars. As such, it provides valuable information for future regulators and policy makers in charge of shaping our future road transport landscape.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 53366
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Intelligent Transport System, Urban Informatics, Social Media, In Vehicle Information Systems
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > INFORMATION AND COMPUTING SCIENCES (080000) > INFORMATION SYSTEMS (080600) > Computer-Human Interaction (080602)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > TRANSPORTATION AND FREIGHT SERVICES (150700) > Road Transportation and Freight Services (150703)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety - Qld (CARRS-Q)
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2012 [please consult the author]
Deposited On: 28 Aug 2012 23:19
Last Modified: 06 Mar 2013 08:28

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