The road to autonomous mobility services: Who drives the transition, where, and how?

Type de publication:

Journal Article


International Journal of Automotive Technology and Management, Inderscience Publishers, Volume 21, Number 4, p.343-364 (2021)



Automotive industry, Autonomous mobilities, autonomous vehicles, Construction industry, MLP, Mobility platform, Mobility service, Multi-level perspective, Multilevels, Product design, Robotaxi, Socio-technical transitions, Technological factors


Due to many technological and non-technological factors the automotive sector is currently initiating a transition towards innovative mobility services using autonomous vehicles. In this paper, we ask where this transition might lead, which actors are capable of carrying it out, and what role they might play in its emergence. Drawing on the socio-technical transition paradigm and multi-level perspective framework, we use a mobility service characterisation framework to explore this question through an empirical study of ten emblematic mobility initiatives in the USA, Europe, and China. Our results reveal a variety of service designs that we characterise through three different ideal types: mobility service added to product, robotaxi, and territorialised open mobility platform. Our contribution is two-fold: we characterise the respective leverage of incumbents and newcomers, and we highlight the roles of automakers, mobility operators, technology companies, construction companies, and public authorities in initiating this transition. Copyright © 2021 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.

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