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Vol 2 - Mobility Innovations. Transport, management of flows and territories

Technology and Innovation


List of Articles

Is technology the only future for transportation? Which innovations for which changes in the transportation system?

This special issue illustrates the need to highlight all the possible innovations in the field of transport and logistics: service innovations, and also organizational innovations, beyond technological innovations alone. By considering the transport system as a socio-technical system, it shows the interest of considering the conditions of services production, based on relationships between
the actors of the system, as well as the conditions of production of services innovations. The latter appear therefore as essential elements of the characteristics but also of the influence of the innovations in question.


Promotion of the diffusion of radical innovations in goods transportation system: best practices from the German‐French comparison

The topic of this article concerns the conditions for the emergence and dissemination of radical innovations in freight transport, with regard to environmental externalities. It shows the need to consider radical innovation as a social innovation, leading to reconsidering the organization of the relationships between the actors of the transport system, who should therefore be associated to
the innovation process. Similarly, the renewal of the role of the state, through relevant interfaces between science and industry, is reaffirmed. The article thus illustrates the national specificities between France and Germany both in the partnerships in the innovation process and in the role of the state.


The uberization of logistics: disruption or continuity? The case of the Greater Paris region

This article analyzes, in an empirical way, the consequences of an “uberization” of logistics, based on the case of the Île-de-France region. Our work is based on several in-depth interviews with some of the actors of this transformation, startups founders, firm directors, couriers, and also based on a database which we have developed about said actors. This approach enables us to understand both the current transformations and the actors’ logic which underpin these dynamics. We demonstrate that uberization dynamics are focusing on the most urban part of the logistic chains and the deliveries, while its impact on the part corresponding to the huge suburban distribution centers is very limited. This phenomenon would have social and sociological consequences which impact not only delivery drivers (the latter often being subcontractors) but also intermediary jobs and top managers. This dynamic would increase the territorial and social fragmentation of the logistics system between “ubered” logistics activities and more traditional logistic ones.


High‐speed rail and local development in different institutional contexts: towards a spatialization of services innovation analyses

Expectations in cities served by high-speed rail in terms of local economic development are numerous. While nearly everyone would agree that the structuring effects of transportation infrastructures don’t exist, the factors that influence the link between high-speed rail and local development need to be analyzed. This is all the more important because high-speed lines are currently built in emerging or developing countries, in other words in very different institutional and social contexts. Based on the literature which focuses on service innovations, this article intends to go beyond an analysis concerning the infrastructure to focus on the services that it enables. It highlights that the services relationship varies in time and in space. Consequently, the analysis of service innovation must be spatialized. Indeed, technologies, services characteristics, clients and provider resources, as well as the rules guiding their action are embedded in given societies.


Innovations in the railway sector: an innovation system in transition between state impulsion regime and market oriented regime

Innovation is now considered as being essential for the railway sector to solve the difficulties it faces. In order to analyze the innovation processes in this sector, we adopt an overall view of production in the rail system by considering it as a whole and with its complexity. This approach demonstrates that the French railway sector, due to diverse transformations, and particularly because of the rise in European competition rules, is currently in limbo between “state impulsion” and “market oriented regime” (Boyer, 2015). This transition entails to contradictions and limits the
capacity to innovate the sector. Based on the notion of the “sectoral system of innovation and production” (Malerba, 2004) and about 30 in depth interviews of actors of the sector, this article identifies several “nodes”, points of tension, in the innovation processes and in which the contradictions of the system concentrate. In this way, the article proposes the outline of an agenda for future research.


Business Models, Logistics and Innovation: the case of e‐commerce

Business models were first used for companies with an Internet connection. The current free access on the Internet obliged companies to question their income model. The novelty of the offers raised the question of evaluation by the traditional business plan and engendered a new tool of analysis: the business model. Thus the business model is both a practice and an analysis tool at the same time. It does not replace strategic diagnosis but allows another formalization of choices stemming from the diagnosis by putting accent on value creation, the capturing of this value and activities and actors at the origin of this creation. Business models can be sources of innovation, by their components and the interactions between these components. We suggest here to think about innovation by the choices of positioning of the logistics and Supply Chain Management in the business models of e-retailers.


The dissemination of workplaces for distributed urbanization

In the last quarter of the twentieth century, the possibility of remote working arose. This new technological opening has given rise to hopes for the humanization of working conditions and the revitalization of rural areas. Overall, these expectations have been disappointed: few innovations have actually taken place. Today, a new technology: threedimensional printing and the Fabrication Laboratories, opens up a new field of experiments, enabling individuals to make the objects they need themselves and, on the other hand, to revitalize rural areas. The question arises as to whether
these rural areas can implement such strategies, knowing that they lack the appropriate economic and technical culture, and that they come up against companies which historically have the monopoly of production.