Faxi carpooling app enables mobility during lockdown
Ireland’s largest university, University College Dublin, is putting the Faxi carpooling app to a new use during the coronavirus pandemic.
Established in 2013, the app enables organisations to set up closed, private groups only available to employees, with a route-matching algorithm which suggests potential carpooling partners based on similar routes to work.
Although the university originally selected the app for its ability to reduce the number of individual car journeys made by students and employees to and from the university’s campus – tackling environmental concerns and campus parking demand issues – its location-matching technology is being used to help vulnerable and cocooning members of the university’s community to find volunteers able to assist with shopping and medicine collection.
By using the Faxi platform, any members of UCD who want to volunteer to support other members of their community can be identified as a ‘dedicated driver’. Then individuals self-isolating or vulnerable can look at the app to find the volunteer nearest to them in order to ask for assistance, whether it be for picking up essential medicines or groceries.
Tony Lynch, co-founder and CEO of Faxi, added: “When we created Faxi we believed that by location matching individuals with like-minded goals we could make a difference to society – we thought by reducing the environmental impact of commuter journeys. But this current crisis has proved that the location matching algorithms work equally well for any need where a community wants to support each other. We are hugely excited to be working with UCD to repurpose the uses of the app in response to the coronavirus pandemic.”