Kendra (aka Lou) was diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum at the age of three. Later in life, her Autism posed the inability to obtain a driver’s license. Living in a small town where public transportation was not accessible, the search for transportation discouraged and overwhelmed this now 24-year-old young woman. To help Kendra live a self-directed, inclusive life, she needed an easy tool to request a ride from a safe, trusted and familiar network.
While similar rideshare apps exist, many individuals with specific challenges find it frustrating to navigate these apps and systems. The experience of unfamiliar drivers and vehicles, unpredictable arrival times and vehicle sensory (sights, sounds, smells) often prove too difficult. This is when an idea began to emerge and “GoLou” was born.
Established in 2019, GoLou was developed to provide an easier way for individuals with special needs to independently and safely travel to employment, appointments, education and other community events. As a non-profit organization, GoLou’s mission is to empower independence to these individuals to live a life of their choosing.
Designed for individuals, parents, and caretakers, GoLou is a user-friendly smartphone app that makes it easy for people with special needs to request a ride. Rather than someone anonymous showing up, GoLou users create their own personal network of caring, trusted drivers. Each time a driver accepts a ride request, a confirmation notification is sent to the user indicating details, such as: the name and picture of the driver and/or car, as well as the pick-up time and location.