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Friction - frictionless in the city

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The Future Looks Seamless: Attending to Friction in Travel and Tourism.
I spend 4 days in Lancaster at the CeMoRe – T2M – Cosmobilities – Conference between November 2, 2017 – November 5, 2017. It was at the Centre for Mobilities Research (Cemore) at Lancaster University, and was organised with the International Association for the History of Transport, Traffic and Mobility (T2M) and the Cosmobilities Network.

The Centre for Mobilities Research (Cemore) at Lancaster University, the International Association for the History of Transport, Traffic and Mobility (T2M) and the Cosmobilities Network joined together to invite contributions on the conference theme Mobile Utopia: Pasts, Presents, Futures.

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Friction - frictionless in the city

  1. 1. Friction - Frictionless in Travel & Tourism. Michael O’ Regan, PhD Bournemouth University
  2. 2. Human mobility does not occur without social, temporal and spatial friction. Friction is “Pain” in the Customer Experience (Human Cost, Blockage).
  3. 3. Friction/Frictionless analytical lens of mobilitie DIGITAL AND MATERIAL INFRASTRUCTURE
  4. 4. path of least resistance PATHS OF LEAST RESISTANCE (DESIRE PATHS) FOR THE “FRICTION INTOLERANT.” INNOVATION=REMOVING FRICTION (OR CONCEALING IT) REDUCE FRICTION + NEW EXPERIENCES = WINNING - Robert Scoble (2013)
  5. 5. • Infrastructural Gaps. • Regulatory systems that exacerbate the “perceived” frictions of travel and movement (i.e. hotel supply). • Devolution of authority and decline in resources to protect everyone.
  6. 6. Itchen Toll Bridge, Southampton
  7. 7. • London, Uber, in a partnership with Nissan are constructing of a network of chargers for electric vehicles (EVs).
  8. 8. Infrastructure promises as part of the play of power. Friction is unequally distributed. (Cresswell, 2016) infrastructure promises infrastructure promises infrastructure promises
  9. 9. Friction is unequally distributed. Friction has been an aid to power. It is deliberately used to stop or slow down the mobilities of some and force it on those who threaten forms of power.
  10. 10. • Uber in particular has leveraged its smartphone app to mobilize its customer base to fight for Uber’s ability to expand
  11. 11. Uber petition to revoke London ban reaches 730,000 signatures.
  12. 12. Ride-Hailing Apps Free Pakistani Women From Abuse, if They Can Pay
  13. 13. USING FRICTION TO RECONFIGURE AND REFUNCTION MATERIALITIES OF INFRASTRUCTURE. GIVES VALUE RO TURBULENCE, FRICTION, RISK & THE SOCIAL EXCHANGE THEY ENGENDER.
  14. 14. TOURISM COMMONS Common pool resources (e.g. transportation systems, urban areas). Strain on parking, toilets, phone reception and public transport.
  15. 15. Virilio (1999: 89) “When you invent the ship, you also invent the shipwreck; when you invent the plane you also invent the plane crash; and when you invent electricity, you invent electrocution... Every technology carries its own negativity, which is invented at the same time as technical progress.”
  16. 16. …….regulate access to infrastructure that promises to free up time and mental capacity for some by eliminating some of the “friction” of daily life. Forces friction upon others.
  17. 17. “FRICTION TOLERANT - accept friction, but no longer aware it even exists….
  18. 18. Frictions translate into discrimination V frictional interaction or “awkward” engagement leading to learning and the discovery of shared commitment? Without interactions, notions of tolerance and don’t even get tested. What if frictionless travel & tourism, by managing socio-spatial interstices reduces tolerance?
  19. 19. Does frictionless travel & tourism destroy its cultural and social merits if dependent on friction tolerant others?

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