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The implementation of a sustainable mobility system is one of the great contemporary societal challenges. In order to succeed in this transformation, it is essential to smartly combine travel modes : indeed, every transport mode possesses its own domain of suitability and individuals thus must be convinced to make rational travel mode choices, based on an adequate balance between personal needs and general interest.

In urban areas, a growing number of households realise that car ownership is not an optimal solution : relying on public transportation services, cycling and walking often offers a greater flexibility, moreover at a lesser cost. For those daily situations where the use of a car is imperative, readily access to the needed vehicle is guaranteed by the multiplication of flexible car rental schemes (car clubs, low-cost rental providers, free-floating car-sharing fleets, etc.).

This evolution comes within the scope of a more general trend towards an expansion of the range of mobility services (bike-sharing programs, home delivery services, etc.) and towards collaborative consumption models (dynamic ride-sharing, pear-to-pear car-sharing). Car manufacturers themselves have understood that this evolution is inevitable and they are therefore multiplying initiatives in mobility service development.

New technologies continually extend the realm of possibilities to set up new service models. However, the  transformation of the mobility system is a particularly complex process and it is subdued to numerous forces of inertia :

  1. There are multiple obstacles on the way of individual behaviour changes, like the inertia of habits, the need to acquire new know-how in order to fully take profit of a new mobility offer, or yet the limited number of life course transitions (during which people are usually the most susceptible to take interest in new service proposals).

  2. Furthermore, the multiplicity of technological solutions arouses rivalries between transport operators and between their associated industrial partners, thereby slowing down the processes of standardisation. Yet, those processes are indispensable in order to guarantee that mobility services are easy to use. In this context, interoperability of technological solutions represents a key stake.

In order to overcome those forces of inertia, it is essential to understand the diversity of individual behaviours and to take into account the interplay of social actors.