Sutton Council has made use of the transport planning technology from ViaVan to optimise emergency food deliveries to 1,000 of its vulnerable residents.
ViaVan is a joint venture between ride sharing technology company Via and Mercedes-Benz vans. Its technology powers on-demand shared transport services by automating and optimising routing and integrating smartphone apps.
Sutton Council started to use ViaVan for its on-demand bus service, but when it decided to deliver food and other essentials to vulnerable residents during the Covid crisis, the technology was able to make the operations more efficient.
It does this by providing the volunteer drivers with a mobile app that provides them with route guidance and instructions on the move. It also automatically messages those receiving the parcels that the driver is on the way and puts them in touch with the drivers if required.
Sutton councillor Ruth Dombey said: “The Council made a commitment to deliver food and essential items to those who need them most during these times. Given the scale of the challenge we quickly realised we needed to change how we work to deliver what was needed.
“Using ViaVan’s technology has helped our staff and volunteers deliver food parcels to residents more efficiently. Our delivery of the food parcels is working during this demanding period and we are sending out 700 plus parcels a week to those in need throughout the borough. We know residents receiving their weekly provisions are extremely grateful for this service.”
Chris Snyder, CEO of ViaVan, commented: “We are pleased to be able to help our communities in times of need. ?Our partnership with Sutton Council demonstrates how dynamic and digitally-enabled solutions can utilise existing infrastructure to support new needs, in this case the movement of critical goods. This model represents an opportunity for cities and towns across the UK to look to technology to rapidly scale and optimise operations for delivery services for those in need.”