On one side of 19 lanes worth of interstates, freeways, highways and exit ramps sits Houston's Third Ward, a place where fast food joints are plentiful and more than 4 in 10 residents are classified as obese.
One the other side? The nearest supermarket.
As has been the situation in many cities, highway construction — in some cases decades ago — had a side effect: It isolated, even destroyed, neighborhoods. It was one factor that turned the Third Ward into a food desert, an area where a high proportion of residents have limited vehicle availability and trouble accessing markets and fresh food.
If transportation has been part of the problem because a physical barrier prevents residents from getting to supermarkets, technology developers and city officials hope it may be part of a solution.
Since establishing a test bed in Houston last year, self-driving delivery company Nuro has worked with the Houston Food Bank to help residents in the Third Ward and elsewhere in the city access fresh and healthy foods.
"There's a big inequality problem, a big quality-of-life problem, and this is even more salient now given the recent attention we're paying to the legacy of race in our country," said Matthew Lipka, head of policy at Nuro.