Nonprofits and the communities they serve have faced unique challenges, often with limited resources, during the pandemic. For some of the Valley’s most vulnerable residents, though, obtaining food and resources has become an even larger obstacle.
That’s why self-driving technology company Waymo donated the use of some of its vehicles from its Waymo Via local delivery fleet to move everything from food to personal protective equipment (PPE) and learning supplies across the East Valley on behalf of nonprofits.
ICAN, an organization providing after school programs for youth and teens, teamed up with Waymo to deliver more than 150 activity kits, meals and backpacks to families who were unable to attend the nonprofit’s in-person programming during the summer months.
Waymo also donated the use of a vehicle from its local delivery fleet to assist the Foundation for Blind Children (FBC), which provides programming and services to individuals of all ages who are blind or have low vision. On FBC’s behalf, Waymo delivered learning equipment and braille-transcribed texts to teachers and a school in Chandler at the start of the school year.
Waymo and the Foundation for Blind Children are both partners of Let’s Talk Self-Driving, an education campaign dedicated to informing the public about the potential of fully autonomous vehicle technology to make roads safer and improve mobility. Earlier this year, Let’s Talk Self-Driving released a survey of Phoenix residents that suggested a majority of respondents supported Waymo resuming its operations, which were briefly paused out of an abundance of caution, for delivery purposes during the pandemic.
Research does seem to suggest the COVID-19 pandemic has changed people’s perceptions of self-driving technology. In a survey conducted by the Consumer Technology Association, a quarter of respondents said they view autonomous delivery technology more favorably now than they did before the coronavirus.
Learn more about autonomous vehicles and the potential they hold at LetsTalkSelfDriving.com.