Mayo Clinic COVID-19 Route
Mayo Clinic in Florida, Jacksonville, Florida
Transportation of COVID-19 specimens from a remote collection area to the test processing clinic operating in an impact level 4 environment on a private healthcare campus.
“During a time of rapid change and uncertainty, the ability to think innovatively alongside the Jacksonville Transportation Authority, NAVYA, and Beep during the pandemic has strengthened all of our teams through community collaboration,”said Kent Thielen, M.D., CEO,Mayo Clinic in Florida.
On Monday, March 30, 2020, Beep and the Jacksonville Transportation Authority launched autonomous vehicles to transport COVID-19 tests at Mayo Clinic in Florida. The self-driving shuttles with no attendant onboard serve two primary objectives. First, it frees up cycles for Mayo Clinic staff that would otherwise have to transport these samples thus enabling them to focus on other important tasks. Secondly, moving these samples autonomously also removes a level of human interaction with the tests and helps reduce exposure to the virus.
The autonomous shuttles are transporting the COVID-19 tests on a 0.5-mile route from a drive-thru testing site on campus and then delivering them to a processing laboratory on the property. The COVID-19 test samples are placed in secure containers prior to Mayo Clinic healthcare professionals loading the samples onto the shuttle.
Once the samples are secured on the vehicle, a remote operator initiates the shuttle's journey from the testing site to the drop-off location. While the shuttle is along the route, it is monitored by on-ground support staff equipped with a wireless e-stop.
Beep and the JTA partnered to fast-track the creation, testing, and deployment of the autonomous shuttle route in eight days. Beep and JTA enabled a number of measures to ensure safe operation of the vehicle including creating a mobile command center for constant monitoring.
“This deployment is a historic moment for the Jacksonville Transportation Authority. Along with our partners Beep, NAVYA and Mayo Clinic, we are leveraging our learnings from three years of testing autonomous vehicles through our Ultimate Urban Circulator program. Our innovative team saw this as an opportunity to use technology to respond to this crisis in Northeast Florida and increase the safety of COVID-19 testing,” said JTA Chief Executive Officer Nathaniel P. Ford Sr.
"...round trips every day since March 30..." - Daily Mail UK
"...maintains social distancing..." - Fox News Channel
"...an 'absolutely brilliant' idea..." - Car & Driver
Jacksonville Transportation Authority
Mayo Clinic in Florida