In low-density urban areas, technologies are expected to play a significant role in tackling the ongoing mobility transition. A multidisciplinary research project focused on how a smart suburbs project, in Loos-en-Gohelle, France, could be promoted through resident participation. However, both the low level of smartphone ownership and the lack of appetite for technological tools discredited the hypothesis that technologies were essential to a faster mobility transition in this periurban area. This experience raises questions about the feasibility as well as the coherence of an approach that seeks to combine public participation as an ethical commitment to research, with smart territories as a scientific and political project. The inhabitants engaged in the project expressed the need and a certain readiness for change with respect to mobility within the municipal area of Loos-en-Gohelle, but were significantly indifferent to technological solutions.