AAA and Waymo team up to educate youth safety leaders about self-driving

1:44 PM, Sep 24, 2019
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The AAA School Safety Patrol program was founded in the U.S. in 1920 and has since expanded to at least 30 other countries. Throughout its nearly 100-year history, the program has given millions of students the opportunity to serve as leaders for safety at their own schools.

Participating students help other students navigate the school area safely, such as during pickup and drop-off times.

“A lot of times these days people are on their phones, texting or calling, or not paying attention,” said Nathan, a student member of the AAA School Safety Patrol at his school, Martin Elementary School in South San Francisco. “We’re there to patrol the area and make sure that everybody is safe crossing the street.”

Deborah Carlino is the teacher advisor for the AAA School Safety Patrol program at Martin Elementary School. She has been recognized as AAA Northern California’s Patrol Advisor of the Year as well as AAA’s National Patrol Advisor of the Year.

“Safety on the roads is so important to me because little kids are out, independent, on their own more than ever today,” Deborah said. “It’s imperative that we create systems that help children to be safe.”

She said she spends a lot of time advocating for safety on the roads because she is a teacher (of the fifth grade) and her students are a part of the AAA School Safety Patrol Program.

Deborah believes fully self-driving technology has the potential to prevent many of the kinds of crashes that are caused by unsafe driver decisions, such as texting and driving, doing drugs, and drunk driving.

That includes fully self-driving technology like Waymo’s. Waymo is a self-driving technology company with a mission to make it safe and easy for people and things to move around.

Waymo designs its fully self-driving technology to be constantly vigilant. It can see up to three football fields away in a single direction and has the capability to detect objects all the way around the vehicle, day or night. The Waymo Driver is built to be cautious and defensive and will never get distracted, drunk, or text while driving.

When, in the summer of 2019, Waymo invited Deborah’s AAA School Safety Patrol members to visit its closed-course testing facility to see fully self-driving cars in action, she embraced the opportunity. Both AAA and Waymo are partners of Let’s Talk Self-Driving, an effort to inform the public about the potential of fully self-driving technology to improve safety on our nation’s roads.

“It’s exciting to be here today because I love for my students to be able to see the potential of a self-driving car,” Deborah said. “I think it is essential that little people be a part of these decisions just as much as adults.”

Dana, a student and AAA School Safety Patrol member, said she wanted to be a part of the conversation. “I am excited to be here today to have a voice for AAA and Waymo.”

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