Towards Sustainable Urban Mobility: Integrating the CASE Paradigm into Public Transport

Publication Type:

Conference Paper


Gerpisa colloquium, Bordeaux (2024)


During the 27th International Colloquium of Gerpisa – five years ago, Antonialli (2019) delivered a comprehensive unveiling a global benchmark study on Autonomous Vehicles for Collective Transport (AVCT). This seminal work encompassed a research corpus consisting of 92 experimentations conducted across 78 urban centres spanning 32 nations. These multifaceted endeavours vividly exemplified the Convergence of the Connected, Autonomous, Shared, and Electric (CASE) paradigm.
In the year 2021, Mira-Bonnardel, Antonialli, and Attias (2021) edited a seminal book positing that public transportation is experiencing a transformative shift termed the “robomobility revolution”, a neologism introduced by the authors to encapsulate the profound integration of public transport within the Convergence of Connected, Autonomous, Shared, and Electric (CASE) paradigm. Various chapters within the book dissect the barriers and catalysts influencing the implementation of robomobility in public transportation systems. Foremost among the barriers is the intricate regulatory framework spanning regional, national, and European jurisdictions (Konstantas, 2021). Conversely, the primary catalyst stems from societal exigencies and political foresight.
Recognizing the profound impact of mobility on regional economic development, public policy stakeholders have swiftly adapted regulatory frameworks to streamline the integration of innovative mobility solutions into public transportation systems (Mira-Bonnardel, 2021). Leveraging creative utilization and implementation of digital technologies, urban mobility offerings have become increasingly diversified and intricate (Merat, Madigan, and Nordhoff, 2017). These developments revolve predominantly around two pivotal themes: responsibility and inclusion.
Robomobility is structured around a fleet of fully automated electric vehicles shared among a designated pool of users. Collective robomobility services offers citizens with adaptable, on-demand transportation solutions facilitating door-to-door connectivity (Ainsalu et al., 2018). Particularly, peri-urban areas that are characterized by inadequate transportation provision may greatly benefit from the implementation of autonomous, on-demand bus services. Such initiatives hold promise for diminishing the reliance on individual automobiles and fostering the reconfiguration of urban environments to prioritize the well-being of inhabitants.
The implementation of a fleet of autonomous buses operating on an on-demand basis presents an opportunity to offer a highly adaptable service, while simultaneously reducing the costs associated with transport externalities and operational expenses. The primary advantage of collective robomobility resides in its capacity to provide door-to-door on-demand transportation solutions. Presently, such on-demand mobility services are predominantly held by taxi companies and car-sharing enterprises, which typically represent individualized modes of transportation characterized by higher costs and higher carbon emissions compared to public transportation alternatives (Fagnant and Kockelman, 2018).
As a significant advancement in the realm of mobility, AVCTs represents a form of social innovation, as it aims to mitigate the environmental impacts of transportation while fostering societal inclusion for communities poorly service by public transport, last-mile offerings, as well as microtransit. Additionally, by reclaiming space typically allocated to private vehicles usage, robomobility facilitates the restructuring of urban environments into spaces characterized by reduced carbon emissions, reducing air and noise pollution, congestion, and increasing safety measures. These dual impacts serve as principal catalysts driving the Convergence of the Connected, Autonomous, Shared, and Electric paradigm within the domain of public transportation.
In our study, we aim to investigate the multifaceted trajectories characterizing the consolidation of CASE paradigm within the domain of public transportation. The initial section of our paper will entail an up-to-date analysis of the global benchmark concerning autonomous public transport. Subsequently, the second segment will delve into an examination of the social, economic, and environmental ramifications stemming from these divergent trajectories. Lastly, the third section will provide a comprehensive exploration of the intricate reconfigurations within supply chains induced by these trajectory dynamics.

Ainsalu, J., et al. (2018). State of the art of automated buses. Sustainability, 10(3118), 2–34.
Antonialli, F. (2019). International Benchmark on Experimentations with Autonomous Shuttles for Collective Transport. In: 27th International Colloquium of Gerpisa: Paradigm shift? The Automotive Industry in Transition, Paris.
Fagnant, D. J., & Kockelman, K. M. (2018). Dynamic ride-sharing and fleet sizing for a system of shared autonomous vehicles in Austin, Texas. Transportation, 45(1), 143–158.
Konstantas, D. (2021). From Demonstrator to Public Service: The AVENUE Experience. In: Mira-Bonnardel, S., Antonialli, F., Attias, D. (2021, editors). The Robomobility Revolution of Urban Public Transport : A Social Sciences Perspective. Springer International: Gewerbestr, Suisse
Merat, N., Madigan, R., & Nordhoff, S. (2017). Human factors, user requirements, and user acceptance of ride-sharing in automated vehicles. (International Transport Forum – discussion paper). Retrieved on August 3, 2020, from:
Mira Bonnardel, S. (2021). Robomobility for collective transport: a prospective user centric view. International Journal of Automotive Technology and Management, 21(1/2), 99–120.
Mira-Bonnardel, S., Antonialli, F., Attias, D. (2021, editors). The Robomobility Revolution of Urban Public Transport: A Social Sciences Perspective. Springer International: Gewerbestr, Suisse

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