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User decision-making in transitions to electrified, autonomous, shared or reduced mobility

Whittle, Colin; Whitmarsh, Lorraine; Hagger, Paul; Morgan, Phillip; Parkhurst, Graham


Colin Whittle

Lorraine Whitmarsh

Paul Hagger

Phillip Morgan


Mobility affords a range of benefits, but there are environmental, social and economic problems associated with current transport systems. Innovations to address these issues include novel technologies (e.g., electric and autonomous vehicles; EVs, AVs), and new business models and social practices (e.g., shared mobility). Yet, far more attention by policy-makers and researchers has been paid to the technical aspects of a low-carbon mobility transition than to social or psychological aspects, or the role of the user. In this paper, we integrate insights from the multi-level perspective on transitions and socio-psychological literature and draw on transport expert interview (N=11) data, to examine (a) what influences current attitudes and behaviours in respect of EVs and AVs, and shared mobility, and (b) how this may change in the years to come. We argue that technological change may be most compatible with the transport regime (dominated by personal car-based mobility) but potentially affords a narrower range of sustainability benefits, while mobility substitution (e.g., reducing the need to travel through tele- working or -shopping) may be most challenging for both policy-makers and publics, while potentially addressing a wider range of sustainability problems associated with the transport regime. Shared mobility options sit somewhere in between and challenge certain aspects of the regime (e.g., status associated with car ownership) while offering certain environmental, social and economic benefits. For all three areas of innovation, policy interventions need to address the needs, preferences, experiences and identities of users if they are to be effective and sustainable.


Whittle, C., Whitmarsh, L., Hagger, P., Morgan, P., & Parkhurst, G. (2019). User decision-making in transitions to electrified, autonomous, shared or reduced mobility. Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment, 71, 302-319.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 15, 2018
Online Publication Date Jan 6, 2019
Publication Date Jun 1, 2019
Deposit Date Dec 18, 2018
Publicly Available Date Dec 18, 2018
Journal Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment
Print ISSN 1361-9209
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 71
Pages 302-319
Keywords low-carbon mobility, transition, multi-level perspective, psychology, decision-making
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Additional Information : This is the author's accepted manuscript. The final published version is available here:


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