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TEKNOKONVERGENS-Teknologikonvergens - grensesprengende forskning og radikal innovasjon

Digitalization of the road sector and its consequences: the role of driving

Alternative title: Konsekvenser av digitalisering i veitransportsektoren: sjåføren og samfunnet

Awarded: NOK 8.0 mill.

The DRIVERS project has conducted research on how digitalization and automation are changing the transportation sector. The project has focused on two main areas: 1) the role of drivers and how digitalization and automation are affecting it, and 2) the innovation work taking place in the field, its impact on societal development, and the factors that shape it. The project has aimed to contribute to responsible research and innovation (RRI) practices in the transport sector. To achieve this goal, the project has collaborated with public and private actors to understand how technological development is experienced from an applied perspective, identify main challenges in managing the development and implementation of new technology, and critically examine potential negative societal consequences of using new technologies. The work has been based on an understanding that society is shaped by social and technological factors in an interplay where transport systems can be viewed as socio-technical. The project has focused on three different parts of the transportation sector: road freight transport, public transport, and private car usage. Road freight transport: In the context of road freight transport, the project has studied the development of E8, a pilot road where various technologies are currently being experimented with. The transportation work in the area is significant, especially for the fishing industry, and changes in the socio-technical system of freight transport will have significant social, economic, and political implications. DRIVERS has studied and mapped the innovation work related to road development, showcasing how actors highlight distinct Norwegian characteristics to find opportunities for Norwegian contributions to the international development of intelligent transport systems. The case has also shed light on challenges in developing autonomous systems in extremely demanding weather conditions and has highlighted issues related to the visions of self-driving, with consequences spanning across sectors and geography. Additionally, the project has explored how transport planning relates to animals and nature in Arctic regions. Furthermore, the project has conducted a series of "ride-along" interviews with freight transport drivers to understand how digitalization and automation processes affect driving practices. These analyses have demonstrated how new technological systems impact drivers' daily work and how drivers themselves can influence technology adoption processes. In this context, the project has emphasized the need to explore new participatory processes for responsible development in the field, considering the specific needs of drivers' daily work. Public Transport: Concerning public transport, the project has particularly studied the Stavanger region, where it investigated the innovation work and political efforts surrounding the establishment of Norway's first test of a driverless bus in regular traffic. Additionally, the project studied the "Hent meg" service. A key finding in this work points to a crucial path dependence in innovation processes, where new technologies contribute to stabilizing established practices and partially support and relieve existing systems. In extension of this, the DRIVERS project has highlighted the need for deeper and more radical innovation processes that also address central issues related to the interplay between mobility and broader societal developments. Private Car Usage: Regarding the study of private car users, the project conducted both a qualitative study consisting of 50 in-depth interviews and a quantitative survey with a psychological perspective on technology use in driving. This covered both urban and rural aspects of car use. The qualitative part of the study focused on private car drivers' use of driver assistance (DA) technologies. The results have shown how drivers actively, through processes of domestication, adopt DA and how such technologies become part of or alter existing driving practices. The work has highlighted the importance of having an active user perspective in transport studies and that users can play a central role in questions related to how increased digitalization and automation affect driving behavior and perceptions of safety and mobility. From a quantitative perspective, the project has studied drivers' willingness to adopt new technology, focusing on vehicle-to-grid technology and private car automation, as well as identifying psychological barriers and drivers for such technology use. Together, the qualitative and quantitative perspectives have laid a solid foundation for establishing a comprehensive understanding of challenges and opportunities related to the increased technologization of cars.

DRIVERS har bidratt til å gi en bedre forståelse av hvordan automatiserings og digitaliseringsprosesser påvirker transportsektoren, både når det kommer til innovasjonsarbeidet som preger sektoren og virkningene av nye teknologier som blir forsøkt innført. Denne kunnskapen er viktig for hvordan vi gjennomfører innovasjonsprosesser, både innenfor statlige organer og private aktører, og prosjektet har pekt på viktige styringsmessige utfordringer når det kommer til å fremme en ansvarlig utvikling av sektoren. Prosjektresultatene vil ha virkninger både innenfor den samfunnsfaglige forskningen på transport og også være relevant for aktører innen praksisfeltet. Når det gjelder det faglige bidraget har prosjektet produsert nyskapende forskning når det gjelder forståelsen av teknologiutvikling og autonome kjøresystemer i arktiske strøk og relasjonen mellom statlige og private innovasjonspraksiser. Når det gjelder virkninger innenfor praksisfeltet har prosjektet produsert resultater som er høyst relevante innenfor teknologiutviklingsprosesser og som særlig viser viktigheten av medvirkningsprosesser og peker på hvordan hensynet til brukere (herunder sjåfører) bedre kan ivaretas. Utover den forskningsmessige og samfunnsmessige relevansen har disse funnene også betydning for videre forskning og forskningssamarbeid: prosjektet har vært en viktig bidragsyter i å skape tettere bånd mellom sosio-tekniske og pyskologiske perspektiver på teknologibruk og innovasjonsarbeid, og DRIVERS vil kunne spille en viktig rolle i å utvikle lignende forskningssamarbeid inn mot andre sektorer.

This social science project will investigate the current and future role of drivers in a digitalized transport sector to meet the goals of Transport 2025 of generating knowledge and solutions for the development of an integrated, future-oriented transport system that meets the needs of trade, industry and society at large for effective, sustainable transport. By studying drivers of automated vehicles in different areas the project will generate crucial knowledge on driver attitudes, practices and expectations with potential impacts on safety and society at large. Our approach focus on three mobility domains: freight transport, public transport and private transport. To explore these cases, DRIVERS build on insights from Science and technology studies and Psychology, bridging traditional transportation studies approaches and applying a mixed methods approach. The project has developed an innovative methodological tool box consisting of qualitative, quantitative and state-of the art workshop and scenario exercises. The methods included are: interviews and ride-alongs with around 40 drivers of ordinary cars with various degrees of automation. B) Interviews and ride-alongs with at least 20 bus drivers driving different types of automated busses. C) Interviews and ride-alongs with at least five trailers at the new E8 road and a survey ofprofessional drivers (N=300), to probe understandings, expectations and experiences amongst this group. Our approach underscores the societal aspects of innovation, and the need for innovators, regulators and public authorities to reflexively engage with societal dilemmas related to automated vehicles. The proposal also addresses the second aspect of the call and draw on RRI methods to reflexively make scenarios and deliberations for building an inclusive, sustainable and effective transport system.

Publications from Cristin

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TEKNOKONVERGENS-Teknologikonvergens - grensesprengende forskning og radikal innovasjon

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