Let’s Talk Autonomous Driving welcomed ONE Community as the newest partner in its Waymo-led national public education campaign. ONE Community is the first lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer plus (LGBTQ+) education partner to join the campaign to foster dialogue about how fully autonomous driving technology could provide a safe new mobility option and connect communities.
ONE Community is a coalition of Arizona businesses, organizations, and individuals supporting diversity, inclusion and equity for all Arizonans. The coalition organizes educational and advocacy programs, with a mission to create an Arizona that celebrates and respects everyone.
ONE Community is the driving force behind the Unity Pledge, a major and ongoing effort that was launched in 2013 in Arizona to advance workplace equality and equal treatment in housing and public accommodations for LGBTQ+ individuals and their allies.
ONE Community thereafter has distributed more than 100,000 “OPEN for Business to Everyone” signs to show support for Arizona’s LGBTQ+ residents. Since its inception, more than 3,500 businesses, including Waymo, and more than 20,000 Arizonans have taken the UNITY Pledge.
“ONE Community is proud to partner with Let’s Talk Autonomous Driving to create more inclusive and safety conscious transportation options for our diverse communities,” said Angela Hughey, co-founder and president of ONE Community. “With autonomous vehicles, LGBTQ+ people won’t have to worry about discrimination and harassment just for seeking transportation assistance. We look forward to working together to educate the community about the benefits of autonomous vehicles in our everyday lives.”
Fully autonomous driving technology, such as Waymo’s, has the potential to provide a safe mobility option to connect people and build community.
According to ONE Community’s annual survey, 11.6% of Arizona’s LGBTQ+ population identify as having a disability, 72% live in an urban environment, and 26% are 65 or older. Providing safe, accessible forms of transportation to their community is a top priority for ONE Community.
Waymo launched the world’s first fully autonomous ride-hailing service, Waymo One, in Metro Phoenix and recently announced its expansion in the region to include Downtown Phoenix and the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.
The technology could advance transportation equity, including for LGBTQ+ individuals, families, and parents with disabilities who cannot currently drive. These individuals long for the same freedom and independence enjoyed by others, along with the ability to choose their own journeys and move freely between life’s destinations.
“Waymo is committed to providing a mode of transportation that makes it safe and easy for everyone to get where they’re going,” said Arezoo Riahi, Head of Equity, Inclusion and Diversity at Waymo. “Members of the LGBTQ+ community have historically faced barriers, harassment and discrimination while using public transportation. We look forward to this partnership with ONE Community and listening to how Waymo One can be safe and accessible for the communities we serve.”
A study by the Gender Policy Report shows one in four members of the queer community are concerned with safety on public transportation. The presence of security does not often mitigate these concerns.
Waymo has voiced a commitment to working with and listening to the LGBTQ+ community to understand how its service can continually evolve to best serve the queer community and provide a safe, reliable transportation option.
Join us in the most important conversations about how autonomous driving technology may shape the future of safety, mobility, community, and society.