How Argo Works with Communities to Build Trust in Self-Driving Vehicles

An illustration showing an aerial view of a busy city street corner with pedestrians and cyclists and a white Argo AV waiting at a crosswalk

By Summer Fowler, Chief Corporate Responsibility Officer 

At Argo, we’re driven by our mission of making the world’s streets and roadways safe, accessible, and useful for all. And the “for all” part is incredibly important to us. Our team focuses every day on developing autonomy products and services that will transform the movement of people and goods and help improve road safety for millions of people around the world. 

To realize the promises of autonomous vehicles, we need more than just technology. We need to consider the needs of communities in order to deliver the most significant positive impact to businesses and people alike. Argo’s Corporate Responsibility Office was built to ensure Argo operates with a community-driven mindset.

From our earliest days, Argo has taken a collaborative approach to working with customers, city stakeholders, and community groups to build trust in self-driving technology. This ethos has taken many forms at the company, such as working with the cycling advocacy group the League of American Bicyclists on technical guidelines designed to deliver safe interactions between autonomous vehicles and cyclists. These activities are grounded in our desire to listen, learn, and educate residents about Argo to pave the way for broader consumer and business adoption of autonomous services. 

This is why we established our first Community Advisory Boards (CABs) in Miami and Austin — two of our key markets for launching autonomous ridesharing and goods delivery services, and our first two cities for achieving driverless operations. Our Miami and Austin Community Advisory Boards are designed to be a two-way street where the CAB members learn about Argo, and we listen to the needs of the community to better respond. Through group and individual member meetings, we work with our CAB to turn insights from community leaders into meaningful action.

Each city where Argo operates is unique, and we wanted our Miami and Austin CAB members to reflect the diversity, energy and expertise of these local communities. We’ve brought together a diverse group of business, neighborhood, academic, and entrepreneurial leaders who live and work in these areas. They share our desire to improve mobility and transportation access for Miamians and Austinites, and are strong advocates for fellow members of their communities. 

Miami CAB 

  • Alice Bravo, Florida District Leader, WSP
  • Jeb Bush Jr., CEO, Jeb Bush & Associates
  • JP Perez, President, Related Group
  • Matthew Beatty, Vice President & COO, Meek Foundation
  • Melissa Shuffield, Principal, Shuffield Co
  • Philip Levine, CEO, Royal Media Partners
  • Raul Moas, Community & National Initiatives, Knight Foundation
  • Sandra Contreras, FL State Operating Committee, FIRST Robotics
  • Tina Brown, CEO, Overtown Youth Foundation
  • Tony Garcia, Principal, Street Plans Collaborative
  • Melissa Krinzman, Managing Partner, Krillion Ventures

Austin CAB

  • Matt Geske, Vice President of Local & Regional Policy, Austin Chamber of Commerce
  • Joseph Kopser, Co-Founder and President, Grayline Group
  • Josh Jones-Dilworth, Founder and CEO, Jones-Dilworth Inc
  • Dr. Molly Beth Malcolm, Executive Vice Chancellor of Campus Operations and Public Affairs, Austin Community College
  • Emmett Beliveau, Legal expert
  • Robin Stallings, Executive Director, BikeTexas
  • Nikelle Meade, Partner, Husch Blackwell
  • Paulette Gibbins, Executive Director of Austin Chapter, Urban Land Institute
  • Tam Hawkins, President & DEO, Greater Austin Black Chamber of Commerce

We meet regularly with our CAB members to proactively share what Argo is developing, details on our pilot programs that serve customers every day, and how we plan to deploy autonomy services in the future. We discuss the unique transportation needs of each city and how autonomous vehicles can complement existing transportation options. CAB members provide unique insights and connections into the community for Argo to improve our operations and products. 

For example, through Tina Brown, my team was introduced to the Miami Lighthouse for the Blind and its CEO and President, Virginia Jacko. We met to discuss mobility challenges for the visually-impaired and blind populations with Argo’s Product and Corporate Responsibility teams. These relationships are critical for us to develop autonomous products that meet our mission of accessibility for all.

Miami and Austin are two important cities where we believe we can build a scalable autonomy business, where there is customer demand for autonomous delivery and ridesharing services, and where we will have a strong positive community impact on how residents access transportation. The feedback we receive from our CAB members helps us improve our autonomy products to serve the needs of these communities better. 

As we look to the future of Argo’s Corporate Responsibility Office, we will continue to work street by street, block by block, to engage with the community and to put these insights into action.