Urban mobility is currently undergoing major redefinition, with new technologies facilitating transitions from disruptive innovations into the operational mainstream. New services can bring about important shifts in perceptions concerning the role and use of the motor vehicle, but it is vital to understand better how systems of governance can not only adapt to these changes, but also provide the leadership that successfully facilitates the transitional process. The project investigates the innovative and highly controversial ride-hailing app services provided by the company Uber in London, as a means of examining the political management of an important transitional process in urban mobility. Although Uber services have been introduced in a large number of countries and UK cities, London has been chosen as the case study because it offers not only a good example of the problems caused by the introduction of a disruptive service, but also an attempt by the regulatory authority to conduct a type of transitional process that seeks to absorb the innovation into the mainstream. The speed with which Uber services have grown is remarkable, and it is important to understand more about how this type of user driven transition is brought about. However, the innovative Uber services also offer major challenges to established industries such as plying for hire taxi services, and it is these types of conflicts that exemplify the problems for governance posed by the dynamics of urban mobility transitions. The results will be written up and disseminated via articles submitted to major academic journals, together with a final report to the Rees Jeffreys Road Fund. Dissemination will also take place via articles submitted to principal practitioner journals.
For more information and output from this research project, please contact Dr Geoff Dudley.