Chapter 5: Automated and autonomous information transmission
In this chapter, we will move from our focus so far on corporeal mobilities to virtual ones, focusing on automation in the movement of information, as well as on its implications for people as information producers and consumers. As such, this chapter has a double objective: it will present automation in the movement of information per se, and it will serve as an introduction to the crucial role of information transmission for the development of AVs, to be highlighted in Chapter 6.
The automation processes that we highlighted in Chapters 3 and 4, for traffic control and for public transportation, have demonstrated varying levels of impact on the very functioning of relevant mechanical systems, as well as on their operators, but without any striking ramifications for the mobility activities and mobility behavior of moving individuals. In this chapter, as well as in Chapter 6, we move into the realm of personal mobility media, with automation bearing directly and forcefully on individuals’ personal mobility. Personal virtual mobility will be discussed in this chapter, whereas corporeal mobility, via AVs, will be the focus of Chapter 6 (see Kellerman 2006, 2012). Thus, our discussions in these two chapters will bear not merely on automation processes per se, but on their significances for individuals involved in personal mobilities, as well.
In the first three sections of this chapter, we will elaborate on the development of three electronic communications systems, their automation processes, and their significance for their users: the fixed-line...
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