Real Tech: Seeking to improve life under COVID-19 with self-driving cars and simplified tech


Driverless cars are helping deliver meals to seniors 

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced every company to reevaluate its operations, but this is especially true of senior centers. One novel approach has come from Paradise Valley Estates in Fairfield, California, which embraced self-driving cars to help deliver meals and reduce the need for their residents to risk exposure. The senior center has more than 500 residents, and when stay-at-home orders were put in place in mid-March, the center closed its communal dining hall. That’s when they decided to pivot by delivering meals using a fleet of self-driving cars they had due to a prior pilot program. 

Paradise Valley Estates originally used their Optimus Ride self-driving cars to help their residents get around the campus. However, they shifted their operation and within 24 hours went from a shuttle system to a delivery one. Since they began offering this service, they’ve delivered more than 3,200 meals and are prepared to continue this service until it’s no longer needed. CEO of Optimus Rides Ryan Chin thinks more people will find ways to use self-driving cars after the pandemic.  

“Optimus Ride exercised the flexibility in our self-driving vehicle systems to quickly shift to delivering meals to the entire population within Paradise Valley Estates,” said Chin in a press release. “As the pandemic subsides, self-driving logistics will be an increasingly important service in life plan communities across the U.S. and beyond.”

Propertybase launches a simplified platform that aims to improve collaboration

With more people working remotely than ever before, online real estate software company Propertybase announced they developed a new simplified platform called Propertybase GO to help advance collaboration. The new system is designed to help with interactions between clients and agents; website building; managing listings and email marketing. 

“We developed the Propertybase GO platform for nearly a year and feel it’s important to bring it to market now because better technology is needed,” said Tim Fessenden, president of Propertybase. “[We] set out to deliver a platform that not only helps to increase productivity but creates a sense of community for a brokerage and its agents.” 

The services of the new platform will include embedded brokerage announcements and social media posts that can take a user directly to another post. An active homepage that will visualize key information such as contact activity, active listings and transactions through graphs and interactive links. The platform will also include tools to create action plans, market trends, seller reports and third-party integrations to help agents access and use important information.

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