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Digitally driven: how location based services impact the work practices of London bus drivers

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Gary Pritchard, Dr John Vines, Professor Pam Briggs, Professor Patrick OlivierORCiD


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This paper examines how an occupational group has adapted to the demands of working with a Location Based Service (LBS). Instead of following a rigid timetable, London's bus drivers are now required to maintain an equal distance between the bus in front and the one behind. Our qualitative study employs ethnographic fieldwork and in-depth semi-structured interviews to elicit drivers' perspectives of the new system and show how it has modified their driving and general work conditions. We explore how passengers influence the movement of the bus and how the technology frames bus drivers' relationships to their managers and commuters. This work contributes to our understanding of the impact of LBS in the workplace and shows how technological imperatives can be established that cause unanticipated consequences and gradually undermine human relationships.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Pritchard G, Vines J, Briggs P, Thomas L, Olivier P

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: CHI '14 Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems

Year of Conference: 2014

Pages: 3617-3626

Publisher: ACM


DOI: 10.1145/2556288.2557156


Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

ISBN: 9781450324731