Emerging Urban Mobility Technologies through the Lens of Everyday Urban Aesthetics: Case of Self-Driving Vehicle

Essays in Philosophy 20 (2):146-170 (2019)

Abstract

The goal of this article is to deepen the concept of emerging urban mobility technology. Drawing on philosophical everyday and urban aesthetics, as well as the postphenomenological strand in the philosophy of technology, we explicate the relation between everyday aesthetic experience and urban mobility commoning. Thus, we shed light on the central role of aesthetics for providing depth to the important experiential and value-driven meaning of contemporary urban mobility. We use the example of self-driving vehicle (SDV), as potentially mundane, public, dynamic, and social urban robots, for expanding the range of perspectives relevant for our relations to urban mobility technology. We present the range of existing SDV conceptualizations and contrast them with experiential and aesthetic understanding of urban mobility. In conclusion, we reflect on the potential undesired consequences from the depolitization of technological development, and potential new pathways for speculative thinking concerning urban mobility futures in responsible innovation processes.

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