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Make way for the wealthy? Autonomous vehicles, markets in mobility, and social justice.

The development of a “mobility as a service” model for accessing urban transport via autonomous vehicles may be expected to have far-reaching implications for the economics of road transport

Time: Tue 2021-04-13 08.30 - 09.30

Location: Zoom (länk skickas några dagar innan seminariet)


Malin Danielsson

The advances of autonomous technology envision taxi fleets that can pick you up at your home at a fraction of today's cost of a taxi ride. We no longer need to buy a car which sits unused 95% of the time and kids without a driver's license don't need their parents to chauffeur them to soccer practice. In particular, it would offer a new opportunity to price access to the roads in accordance with the principles of the free market. Once people are paying for mobility on the roads on a “per trip” basis, it will be possible to offer different levels of access —and service —at different prices. According to hegemonic ideas in the transport planning and economics literature the introduction of such a “market in mobility” would be an economically efficient way of allocating access to the scarce good of space on the roads. But will this type of services only have benefits? Or could it be that a pay-as-you-can service would lead to a less equal society.

To increase our understanding of these kinds of services and their implications on society, we would like to invite Prof. Robert Sparrow and Dr. Mark Howard, who in their recent paper in Mobilities, “Make way for the wealthy? Autonomous vehicles, markets in mobility, and social justice” draw attention to a number of ethical and political challenges to the appropriateness of the use of such a pricing mechanism in the context of urban mobility.

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Last changed: Mar 30, 2021