Does autonomous driving demand care?

In Keeping Autonomous Driving Alive: An Ethnography of Visions, Masculinity & Fragility (leaflet) Göde Both studies the relationships between researchers and artefacts held together by contested visions. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork in a pioneering project in autonomous driving in Germany, he argues we can make sense of technological visions only if we simultaneously grasp the role of care, gender, and narrative in sustaining technological research.

Instead of focusing on the genesis and expansion of sociotechnical assemblages, the book offers a radically new alternative to the study of visions. Building on literature from Science & Technology Studies, Science Communication, and Gender Studies, Göde Both investigates the ambivalence and fragility of technological visions, video demonstrations, and street trials in the hands of researchers invested in self-driving
cars. Keeping autonomous driving alive will be of interest to sociologists and anthropologists of technology, gender, and mobility. It is essential reading for those concerned with uncertainty in technological research and with conflicting demands in communicating science.


Conference Presentations


  • 7/28 “Ordering the mess of everyday traffic”, Biannual Conference of European Association for the Study of Science and Technology, Lancaster, UK
  • 12/4 “Die Ethnographie autonomen Fahrens”, [Ethnography of Autonomous Driving], Invited lecture at lecture series „Infrastruktur & Gesellschaft“ [Infrastructure & Society], Stuttgart University.


  • 1/17 “Technik und Männlichkeit: Ist autonomes Fahren die ‘Entmannung des deutschen Autofahrers’ ?” [Technology and Masculinity: Is autonomous driving the ‘esmasculation of the German driver’?] , Invited lecture at lecture series “Technik und Geschlecht”, University of Applied Sciences Merseburg
  • 3/27 “Human-Machine Configuration: Is autonomous driving the ’emasculation of the German driver’?”, Politics of Reproduction, Landesarbeitsgemeinschaft der Einrichtungen für Frauen- und Geschlechterforschung in Niedersachsen, Hannover.
  • 6/1 “Order and mess: Autonomous driving in the city”, Third Nordic STS Conference, Göteborg, Schweden
  • 6/9″Accomplishing autonomous driving in urban traffic: Observations from the back-seat”, Invited paper presented at workshop “Urban Automation”, University of Sheffield


  • 1/29 “Hightech-Cowboys und die Rolle von Video-Demonstrationen in der Forschung mit selbststeuernden Autos” [Hightech Cowboys and the Role of Video Demonstrations in Self-driving Car Research]. Paper presented at the Workshop Knowledge in Action, Department of Sociology, Technical University Berlin.
  • 9/1 “Defending Research by Doing Masculinities: Is Autonomous Driving the ’emasculation of the German car-driver’?”, Annual Meeting of the Society of Social Studies of Science held jointly with European Association for Study of Science & Technology, Barcelona, Spanien.


  • 12/8 “Von Hightech Cowboys, Omas & automobilen Zukünften: Wirklichkeiten der Forschung an selbststeuernden Autos” [Of Hightech Cowboys, Grannies and Automobile Futures. Realties of Self-driving Car Research] Invited Lecture at “gender_fokussiert” lecture series, Technical University of Chemnitz.
  • 12/4 “‘Driving will one day be foolproof and accidents unknown…’ (Science) Fictions of Self-Driving Car Research”, Living in Technoscientific Worlds. International Conference Celebrating the Launch of STS Austria, University of Vienna, Austria (with Anna-Lena Berscheid, Paderborn University)
  • 11/23 “Feminist STS in Action. Von der ‘Entmannung des deutschen Autofahrers’ zu Fürsorge-Relationen in der Forschung mit Fahrzeugrobotern” [From the ‘Esmaculation of the German driver’ to Care Relations in Research with Mobile Robots], Invited Lecture in Seminar Geschlecht, Technik und Organisation. Eine Einführung, Department of Social Sciences, University of Cologne.
  • 11/11 “Materiality and Mess in Self-Driving Car Research” Paper presented at the Annual 4S Conference, Denver, U.S.
  • 11/4 “Von Hightech Cowboys, Omas & automobilen Zukünften: Wirklichkeiten der Forschung an selbststeuernden Autos” [Of Hightech Cowboys, Grannies and Automobile Futures. Realties of Self-driving Car Research] Invited Lecture at Sociology and NRW Fortschrittskolleg “Leicht, Effizient, Mobil” lecture series, Paderborn University.
  • 6/5 “Beyond heroism and autonomous machines: Alternative meanings in self-driving car research”, 9th European Feminist Research Conference, University of Lapland, Finland.
  • 5/12 “Counting Clicks instead of Citations: YouTube Videos as Scientific Currency”, STS Conference Graz 2015: Critical Issues in Science, Technology and Society Studies, IFZ/IAS-STS Graz, Austria (with Andreas Bischof, TU Chemnitz)


  • 11/7 Beyond heroism and autonomous machines: Alternative meanings in self-driving car research. Paper presented at Self-driving cars and the transformation of public and private transportation, Paderborn University, Germany.
  • 9/18 Youtubization of Research. What can video demos do (for robotics)? Paper presented at the Biannual Conference of EASST, Torun, Poland.
  • 7/16 “Seeing that everything still works” The Practice of Test-Drives in Self-Driving Car Research. Working Paper presented at Practices of Materialities, University of Vienna, Austria.


  • 12/7 Situationsanalyse und Praxeographie. Methodische Anstrengungen aus den Science & Technology Studies [Situational Analysis and Praxeography. Methodological Endeavours from Science & Technology Studies] Invited Presentation at Methoden einer Soziologie der Praxis, University of Hagen, Germany.
  • 12/2 Enacting self-driving cars. Some notes from the streets. Presentation at Laboratory: Social Anthropology of Science and Technology, IFEE, Humboldt-University of Berlin, Germany.
  • 11/21 Geschlechter-Technik-Verhältnisse in der Forschung an selbststeuernden Autos [Gender-Technology-Relations in Self-driving Car Research]. Presentation at Zurück in die Zukunft [Back to the Future], TU Braunschweig, Germany
  • 10/12 Learning to See. Self-driving Cars in Everyday Traffic. Presentation at the Annual 4S Conference, San Diego, U.S.
  • 1/15 Learning to Drive. Eine situationsanalytische Fallstudie zu den Praktiken automatisierten Fahrens. [A Case Study on Practices of Autonomous Driving based on Situational Analysis] Presentation at Soziologisches Forschungskolloquium, TU Dortmund University, Germany.


  • 10/18 Laboratory Studies as Means of Feminist Intervention into ICT Research and Design Practices. Presentation at the Annual 4S Conference held jointly with EASST, Copenhagen, Denmark. (book of abstracts)
  • 7/3. Removing the Driver: Gender in the Design of Driverless Cars. Presentation at the Lancaster Sociology Summer Conference, Lancaster University, U.K. (book of abstracts)
  • 6/15. Removing the Driver: Gender and Autonomous Driving. Presentation at Graduiertentagung 2012, University of Paderborn, Germany. (book of abstracts)
  • 5/15. Ein Auto, ein Computer, ein Mann. Geschlecht und autonomes Fahren. Presentation at the research colloquium, Departement of Media Studies, University of Paderborn, Germany.