According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Detroit has the highest unemployment rate of any large city in the U.S. Moreover, in excess of 10,000 Detroit area residents travel each day to work in communities where there is no public transportation.
These factors make the city an appropriate location for a living-lab experiment to study how ride-sharing services could improve the lives of underserved populations when they have better access to basic services.
Researchers from the U-M School of Information plan to work with the ride-sharing service Uber, community groups and a Detroit grocery store to better understand how shared vehicle services can give residents access to grocery stores, child care, jobs, job interviews, healthcare services and other appointments.
The end result of this EAGER study will articulate the barriers that these communities face and show improved algorithms for optimizing resource allocation.