Article: Ontologies on collision course: Collaborative mobility v. managerial transport in the contemporary history of intelligent transport systems
The article is written by Daniel Normark at the Department of Economic History, published in The Journal of Transport History via sage Journals.
Is mobility ontologically different than transport? This essay contributes to this contentious question by looking at the frictions and failures of merging intelligent transport systems (ITS) with mobile information and communication technologies (mobile-ICT). Adopting a methodological approach from science and technology studies (STS), which focus on (political) ontologies, enables us to follow the ordering practices and constituent elements participating in the enactment of multiple ontologies. The dissonance between ITS and mobile-ICT can thus be regarded as the enactment of two ontologies, one managerial and one collaborative. The tensions between these traditions enable us to articulate the differing institutions and sensibilities that characterise a managerial and a collaborative ontology. Thus, how we approach transport can be understood either as under the spell of managerial functionality or as collaboratively achieved pending on “what is” transport. By looking at frictions when defining ITS, we can identify two ontologies that have existed within the history of transport, traffic and mobility.