Embedding the automobile in socio-technical contexts: technological, institutional and political drives and struggles to set up new mobility systems and business models

Theme N°: 

New mobility systems and business models are in the making. The digital revolution, Industry 4.0, the Internet of Things, smart manufacturing, among others trends and transformations taking place, are making it possible for the emergence of new mobility systems. For now, the most diffused are Uber-like services based on online platforms. Though, they are hardly alone. A growing number of shared and autonomous transportation systems are in progress, and alternative and more efficient ways to match and move people and things are being designed and tested on the road. Simultaneously, the same drives are propelling the deployment of new business frameworks based on focused business strategies and lighter organizational structures, with no or minimum physical assets, with no or minimum employment. Startups and high-tech/powerful brands are arriving in the industry while existing auto corporations react and weigh their opportunities to keep the lead in a more contested and redesigned transportation sector. In the meantime, a hectic number of alliances, takeovers, and shared initiatives are evolving between incumbent and newcomers in the industry.
In most cases, these evolutions take place in the midst of tensions and struggles among many stakeholders.  While in some jurisdictions institutions and incumbent firms support the eruption of new mobility systems, players and business, in others there are growing tensions between the status quo and new players and the progress towards a new mobility services transportation sector becomes a highly contested terrain. Take, for example, the case of Uber, which is banned from operating in many countries.
In this track, we look for contributions that assess the extension to which such systems and business models are being developed inside and across jurisdictions and the technological, socio-political and institutional factors that are driving and hindering them. 

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