Whereras new Information and Communication technologies (ICTs) generate great expectations for building a more sustainable mobility system, this paper reviews the linkages between ICTs and mobiliy, focusing not only on the newest ICTs such as the Internet but also on its historical predecessors such as the telegraph or the telephone. If ICTs appear to be a powerful transformation engine, it is not automatically to the benefit of sustainability : the engine has to be given a direction.
Messages clés [en anglais] :
- NEW ICTs HAVE HISTORICAL PREDECESSORS THAT ARE WORTH CONSIDERING
New Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) have been hailed to massively transform our economies, and potentially towards more sustainability. But will they? While the newest ICTs such as the Internet are in some respects unique, in other respects they have historical predecessors (telegraph, telephone) that are worth considering: they have also generated important expectations and impacts on their contemporaneous society, and in particular on the mobility regime.
- OLD ICTs HAVE MASSIVELY TRANSFORMED OUR MOBILITY
The literature review in this paper shows that ICTs have transformed and keep on transforming our mobility in very massive, long and unpredictable ways. If one does not live yet in "electronic cottages", as expected by some already a long time ago, "old" ICTs have modified our mobility radically by supporting and making more efficient new transport modes, by contributing to the geographical concentration and dispersion trends of cities and economic activities and by changing how and how much we connect to our families and friends. The interactions between mobility and ICTs, be they new or older ICTs, turn out to be massive, diverse and complex.
- ICTs: A POWERFUL ENGINE OF TRANSFORMATION THAT HAS TO BE GIVEN A DIRECTION
Moreover, if the current ICT wave put forward by some authors opens many opportunities for building a more sustainable mobility system, it also raises many challenges. For ICTs to drive a more sustainable mobility and beyond that a more sustainable society, there are plenty of conditions to be met and of choices to be made, individually or collectively. This calls for integrating all the new options permitted by ICTs into mobility policies and governance, analysing their potential realistically.