Tech to Improve Mobility in Rural America


Most of us take mobility for granted but consider someone in Rural America without access to a car or unable to drive. Mobility is critical for a healthy community, both in terms of the individual's well-being and the community's trajectory for economic growth. In its quest to tackle rural aging, Grantmakers in Aging (GIA) wants to bring Silicon Valley's cutting-edge technology into the equation. They recently called together leaders from philanthropy, tech, transportation, and human services to explore new mobility solutions for America's rural population.

Topics covered included concept vehicles, like Toyota's e-Palette. The fully autonomous, multi-purpose mobile space can be transformed for mass transit, deliveries, or accommodations - all in the same day. Also the use of drones to help with supply transport during poor weather conditions. Some of the more fundamental enhancements revolved around implementing cloud-based software to amplify well-established volunteer driving programs. These solutions and more are captured in GIA's report.

Changes must be made thoughtfully, as internet connectivity is still an issue in many rural areas. These communities need to be met where they are, otherwise, we risk deepening the digital chasm. Free of city traffic, Rural America might just be the perfect place for innovation like self-driving cars to gain traction. LEARN MORE