Publication Detail

Nomads at Last? A Set of Perspectives on How Mobile Technology May Affect Travel

UCD-ITS-RP-14-110

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Suggested Citation:
Fiore, Filippo Dal, Patricia L. Mokhtarian, Ilan Salomon, Matan E. Singer (2014) Nomads at Last? A Set of Perspectives on How Mobile Technology May Affect Travel. Journal of Transport Geography 41, 97 - 106

This paper’s goal is to propose a set of perspectives on how mobile phones and computers might affect travel: by tapping into basic needs of travellers; by affecting some preconditions for its spatial configuration; and by altering its costs and benefits. In the age of “digital nomadism,” mobile technology is likely to play an important role for the new mobility and work-life arrangements put into practice by a multitude of creative knowledge professionals. What emerges from our multi-perspective exploration is the realisation that mobile technology might offer people numerous new reasons to be mobile: by making them more informed; more capable of using a larger variety of physical spaces and re-negotiating obligations in real-time; and potentially more efficient in the allocation of their travel time and resources. On the other hand, it also appears that mobile technology can impose new burdens on travellers and make travel less appealing in some ways. Additional research is called for to improve our understanding of the circumstances under which each of these opposing outcomes occurs. The findings from such research could be used to better calibrate traffic simulation models, as well as to weigh the implications of emerging forms of travel behaviour for the environment.