Seminar details

Auditorium (Building IMAG)
12 February 2024 - 10h00
Comment évaluer le potentiel d'une solution numérique face à l'urgence écologique ? Application aux plateformes de covoiturage régulier à l'échelle locale (Phd Defense)
by Aina Rasoldier from Inria

Abstract: Given the current ecological urgency, it is legitimate to ask what the potential of digital solutions is to deal with this situation. Currently, we lack the scientific basis to decide whether a digital solution should be developed or implemented based on its effects on the environment and society, the barriers to its implementation, and the associated uncertainties. In this context, the first part of the work consists of studying methodologies to assess the environmental impacts avoided by digital solutions. In particular, the thesis shows that the existing studies in the scientific literature present recurring limitations. Firstly, it is emphasized that evaluations often restrict their scope, ignoring, in particular, the direct impacts of technologies and their impacts on society, including rebound effects. In addition, other limitations are to be regretted in the context of the ecological urgency: the link between the potential of digital solutions and mitigation strategies, or their integration into a desirable sustainability scenario, is rarely addressed. Therefore, this thesis proposes methodological recommendations to evaluate the impacts avoided thanks to a digital solution, aiming to overcome the previously mentioned limitations.
In the second part, the study looks at the potential of a particular digital solution: regular carpooling platforms (such as BlaBlaCar Daily, Karos, and Klaxit). Their expected advantage is the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in the passenger transport sector, one of the highest emitting sectors in France. The potential of these platforms is evaluated at the scale of the Grenoble metropolis (France) using a new method, the Method for evaluating the potential of carpooling at the local scale (MEPCEL). When evaluating the environmental potential of this solution, particular attention is given to examining the assumptions on which the environmental gain is based. Are these assumptions realistic? By comparing the results to the environmental objectives defined, among other things, by the mitigation strategies, it appears that even if the objective is achievable, a significant and rapid evolution of behavior is necessary to achieve it. Overall, this thesis highlights that there remains a significant challenge regarding the potential of digital and poses a question: To what extent can we still rely on digital solutions in the face of ecological urgency?

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