Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority Approves Funding for One Year Pilot Program in along the Marion Street Transitway
Beep, an Orlando-based autonomous shuttle service provider, today announced its next expansion in Florida in conjunction with the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority to bring its self-driving shuttles to the Marion Street Transitway in Tampa. The transit authority will launch a one-year pilot program that will be deployed through a phased approach beginning this Summer. The shuttles will operate along Marion Street along a nearly one mile stretch of road.
The Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority (HART) Board of Directors approved the pilot program for at least one year of operation with an option to continue the program for a second year. With the assistance of the Florida Department of Transportation, HART was awarded funding to procure and operate the pilot AV shuttle program. The project is fully funded by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) with no required match on behalf of HART.
“We applaud the HART Board for their forward thinking that embraces autonomous vehicle technology to provide these innovative autonomous mobility solutions for downtown Tampa,” said Joe Moye, CEO at Beep. “We’re excited to be working with HART to evaluate practical and safe mobility solutions while using cutting edge technology that will position the transit authority and Tampa as leaders in the adoption of AV platforms.”
Beep’s proven experience in launching autonomous shuttles on public and private roads interfacing with mixed traffic and pedestrians will allow the transit authority to demonstrate the safe transport of people using autonomous multi-passenger shuttles, advance public adoption of autonomous transportation while proving out the safety benefits of such a service.
“HART’s Automated Vehicle one-year pilot with Beep is a testimony to our agency’s competitive commitment to innovative technologies,” said Carolyn House Stewart, Interim CEO at HART. “The pilot will demonstrate AV capabilities to safely move people within mixed traffic and learn more about public attitudes towards automation in transportation. We thank FDOT for its continued support in this endeavor.”
Beep’s solution is underpinned by NAVYA’s AUTONOM shuttle, a fully electric, driverless shuttle. The shuttle has no steering wheel or pedals and will use a pre-programmed, fixed route with a combination of localization techniques, involving state-of-the-art sensor technology. Each vehicle will be staffed with a shuttle attendant to serve as an ambassador for the riders to learn more about the technology and oversee the high-quality passenger experience.
The autonomous shuttle holds up to 10 passengers at a time and will operate at a maximum speed of 15 mph as part of the pilot program. Passengers will be required to wear a seatbelt when riding the shuttle. Beep will take extra measures to ensure the comfort and safety of its riders by disinfecting the vehicles regularly and providing hand sanitizers.