The Digital Nexus of Post-Automobility by Kingsley Dennis & John Urry
Rapid dynamic changes in several key areas are transforming the physical geography of global regions as well as their interrelations. In this Report we set out a list of processes that we consider pose significant influence upon future mobilities, lifestyles, and social relations. We identify these as global climate change; global security and the ‘War on Terror’; digital technologies and pervasive computing; and the rise in complexity thinking. This Report demonstrates how their possible combination and synthesis could impact upon mobility trends within technologically developed regions, specifically upon automobilities. Taken individually they pose significant impact; taken together they have the momentum, power, and potential to create major shifts in how socio-technical mobilities are framed. By taking automobilities, and their transformation, as the focus we outline how we conceive a possible shift occurring that would take individualised automobility use from a series to a nexus system, particularly one framed within physical/digital networks. Principally we frame these dynamic systemic changes as shifting the car system from being autonomous to becoming post-car automation. This transition would take place within a parallel shift towards increased digitisation of physical movement whereby coded environments and software-sorting systems would frame such future mobilities.
This online paper may be cited or briefly quoted in line with the usual academic conventions. You may also download them for your own personal use. Any comments welcome!