Experimental Governance of Smart Mobility: Some Normative Implications

Annica Kronsell and Dalia Mukhtar-Landgren, chapter in anthology Shaping smart mobility futures: governance and policy instruments in times of sustainability transitions, Emerald Publishing Limited, August 2020

New forms of ‘smart’ mobility have emerged with the advance of information technology. From a public sector perspective, these ambitions have been framed both in terms of innovation and sustainability. The development work of these technologies is in part being subsidised by public actors investing in and funding different types of pilots or experiments in order to ‘test’ these technologies in what is called a real-life environment. This is part of a larger trend of experimental governance in which smart mobility is an important and a possibly growing part. This chapter offers a conceptual analysis of experimental governance by analysing three underlying assumptions in literature and practice (1) the need for extraordinary solutions, (2) the importance of learning by doing and (3) the necessity of collaboration. These three assumptions are analysed in relation to smart mobility experiments in Sweden, and discussed in relation to public values. The concluding discussion elevates a number of normative implications of using experimental governance as a policy instrument for the development of smart mobility.