Date: 8th August 2015

An autonomous slot-car race track with 20-55 race cars micro-simulating patterns of behaviour within congested traffic systems

Automotivation takes its title from Sheffield-based Cabaret Voltaire’s 1984 ‘Gasoline in Your Eye’. Produced with the support of Sheffield Robotics, the work is based on traffic ‘micro-simulation’ engines, which use parameters including Aggression, Gap Tolerance and Lane-Discipline to demonstrate how driving populations behave. Realised as database engines, these models are not neutral: they depend on programmers’ assumptions and judgments and pre-suppose that smoother flowing traffic is progressive. Automotivation demonstrates patterns of traffic flow like phantom roadblocks and mass tail-gating as a kinetic sculpture of 12m2 of Scalextric-style track and 55 slot cars.


Plywood, polycarbonate, brass and custom built 1/32 slot cars

Grateful thanks to Alireza Janani for his support in the development of this project.

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