In the light of pressing challenges like climate change, urban congestion and traffic safety there are numerous efforts aiming at reducing car traffic and shifting road users to more sustainable forms of mobility. In this respect, digitalization offers new opportunities to support this development, with attempts ranging from increasing efficient vehicle usage through pooling and sharing of conventional vehicles as well as an increasing variety of micro vehicles (e.g. electric scooters or monowheels) bridging last mile gaps or multimodal information and ticketing services to encourage changing monomodal behavior patterns. However, despite these efforts, many cities still observe growing traffic and transport related emissions and consumption of resources continue to remain on high levels, as new services are not as widely accepted as expected, people using shared cars are rather shifting from public transport than from private vehicles, the use of new mobility devices can create safety concerns, and some groups find it difficult to keep up with the pace and complexity of new developments in the transport system.
To tackle the full potential of emerging digitalized solutions, there is a strong need to understand demand reactions to new services and whether different groups are able or willing to use these forms of transport. Evidence is needed to comprehend barriers keeping some groups from accepting new options as well as rebound effects in cases where services are not used in the intended way or by expected target groups.
This article collection focuses on the human factors of new mobility forms and services emerging in the context of digitalization, providing insight into behavior reactions, barriers and acceptance issues as a basis for plausible assessments of the impact of new solutions. The findings are to support the user-centred design of new services to enable sustainable behavior shifts.
Alexandra Millonig, AIT, Austria
Sonja Haustein, DTU, Denmark