Eriketti Servou

mobil.LAB Fellow

Funded by the Hans-Böckler Foundation

Phone: +

Email: eriketti.servou[at]  


Research Focus:

  • Sustainable mobility cultures
  • Autonomous driving
  • Policy-making

PhD Project Description

Investigating the socio-technical transition towards autonomous driving: The examples of the metropolitan regions of Munich and Stuttgart


The advent of autonomous driving is expected to have impact to cities as significant as the invention of the car. The reduction in fuel consumption, congestion, the increase in accessibility and the decline of car-ownership as a hallmark of freedom are only some of the potential benefits. However, these potential benefits come with a certain amount of challenges, such as urban sprawl, increased travel, critical event control, ownership, liability and privacy issues. How the transition towards autonomous driving will evolve depends very much on how it will be promoted in policy-making arenas. At the moment, there is a huge gap in existing literature on autonomous driving regarding the politics and policy dynamics behind autonomous driving. Besides that, there is a lot of uncertainty among policy-makers and citizens about the long-term impacts of autonomous driving, especially because there are plenty of new and old technologies involved and combined. This points towards the need to examine and understand the historically developed complex interrelations between mobility policies, the system of auto-mobility and automation and digitalization technologies, and how they play out in the present.

This thesis aims to explore the interactions between discourses, politics, actors, practices and technologies within the policy-making arenas of the metropolitan regions of Munich and Stuttgart. It adopts a multi-methodological approach to data collection and analysis that combines an analysis of texts with in-depth qualitative interviews with key stakeholders, and stakeholder workshops. Based on that, the research attempts to unpack the history of mobility in the two regions, identify the main speakers of autonomous driving and their main arguments, investigate how these stakeholders work together, form coalitions, develop synergies and practices, and capture conflicts and power struggles among them. Drawing on theoretical and methodological developments in mobilities literature, neo-Foucauldian discourse analysis approaches and Actor Network Theory (ANT), this research seeks to understand and map the policy-making processes behind the promotion of autonomous driving, in order to provide policy-makers with knowledge and a framework for reflection for decision-making for the future of mobility.



Since 2017 Tutor in Sustainable Mobilities Master’s Program (SUM) at HfWU, Geislingen
Since 2017 PhD fellow at the mobil.LAB Doctoral Research Group funded by the Hans Böckler Foundation
2015-2016 Research Assistant Intern at Nürtingen-Geislingen University (Germany)
2014-2016 M.Sc. Urban Planning and Management (UPM), Aalborg University (Denmark)
2012-2014 Spatial planning and development consultant at Meganissi Municipality (Greece)
2011 Assistant Planner Intern at Urban Planning Department of Lefkas Municipality (Greece)
2008 Data organization and project management intern at Vlachos E, a private urban infrastructure development company (Greece)
2006-2012 Diploma in Spatial Planning and Development, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Greece


Villeneuve, D., D. Durán-Rodas, A. Ferri, T. Kuttler, J. Magelund, M. Mögele, L. Nitschke, E. Servou, and C. Silva. (2019) What is Interdisciplinarity in Practice? Critical Reflections on Doing Mobility Research in an Intended Interdisciplinary Doctoral Research Group. Sustainability 2020, 12(1), 197.

Freudendal-Pedersen, M., S. Kesselring and E. Servou. (2019) What is Smart for the Future City? Mobilities and Automation. Sustainability 2019, 11(1), 221.

Servou E. (2019) A Methodological Approach on Studying Policy-making of Autonomous Driving in Cities. plaNext – next generation planning. 9: 11-25.

E. Servou. (2018) An analytical framework to investigate the policy-making processes behind the promotion of autonomous driving in the metropolitan regions of Munich and Stuttgart. YA AESOP Conference 2018, Groningen, NL.

E. Servou. (2018) Investigating the Socio-Technical Transition Towards Autonomous Driving: The Examples of the Metropolitan Regions of Munich and Driving: The Examples of the Metropolitan Regions of Munich and Stuttgart.. Transportation Research Procedia, 41, 545–547. mobil.TUM International Scientific Conference on Mobility and Transport. Munich, DE.

Voluntary Activities

Seit 2016 Member of the Great Transition Initiative
Seit 2012 Member of Greek Association of Planning & Regional Development Engineers
2014-2016 Member of the Danish Society of Engineers (IDA)
2011-2013 Voluntary involvement in local cultural societies (Greece)
2012-2013 E-learning programs on (1) environmental management and (2) analysis of the developments in the Greek economy
2012 Participation in the “Forum of Young Scientists for Sustainability” at Lefkas Municipality (Greece)
2007-2011 Student council of spatial planning in Thessaloniki (Greece)