Dec 15, 2021
Beep at the Beach: PSTA Brings Autonomous Vehicles to Clearwater
Clearwater, Fla – AVA is coming to Clearwater through a partnership with Beep. The autonomous vehicles, which seat up to eight people, will be in Clearwater for a three-month pilot thanks to the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) and the Tampa Bay Area Regional Transit Authority (TBARTA) which is funding the trial run.
AVA, which stands for Autonomous Vehicle Advantage, has already made stops in downtown St. Petersburg and Dunedin.
In Clearwater, AVA will operate along South Gulfview Boulevard, next to the world-famous Clearwater Beach.
The hours of operation for AVA will by 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday until February 27th, 2022. The service is free to riders.
Operated and managed by Beep, AVA uses an array of sensors outside of the autonomous vehicles providing a full 360-degree view of the environment. An on-board shuttle attendant, or copilot, serves as an ambassador for the riders to learn more about the technology and oversee the high-quality passenger experience. Riders will be able to enjoy the views of Clearwater beach, along with all shops and restaurants the city has to offer.
“We are beyond excited for the Clearwater community to try and experience AVA,” said Brad Miller, Chief Executive Officer of PSTA. “We invite people of all ages to enjoy and leave with a better understanding of how technology can help enhance safety all while providing clean-energy solutions that could transform transportation.”
“TBARTA is proud to partner once again with PSTA in providing financial support for this project,” said David Green, Executive Director of TBARTA. “AVA not only represents the future of autonomous transportation, it is also a great example of what we can accomplish when we work together.”
The functionality of the autonomous vehicles is enabled by a safe, pre-determined planned route. AVA is equipped with multiple onboard LiDAR sensors and GPS tracking to ensure the path is maintained during operation. The autonomous vehicles’ performance is monitored by an onboard shuttle specialist as well as Beep’s Global Command Center located in Orlando, Florida. The autonomous vehicles are 100-percent electric and react 10 times faster than a human can, while never getting distracted from the roadway.
“The AVA project is the latest example of how PSTA is leading the way on innovative, sustainable transportation options. We’re excited to bring this driverless technology to North County and offer more people a chance to experience AVA,” said Pat Gerard, Chair of PSTA Board of Directors.
“Continuing our partnership with PSTA only furthers our commitment to safely test autonomous shuttles in a variety of environments. Launching AVA in the City of Clearwater along Gulfview Boulevard will provide residents and visitors a safe, sustainable and reliable means of connecting to the Beachwalk hotel area and the Bayway district. Our 100-percent electric autonomous vehicle service with PSTA will help further preserve the beachside and everything the community has to offer” said Joe Moye, Beep CEO.
The autonomous vehicles will operate at a maximum speed of 15 mph as part of a 3-month pilot. Riders will be required to wear a seatbelt and use a face covering while in the shuttle. Passengers can expect processes and procedures onboard that align with best practices for ridesharing and transit according to federal guidelines such as frequent cleaning procedures and a modified seating capacity. (see Beep’s COVID response page here). Passengers are limited to one round trip.
Beep delivers the next generation of mobility services utilizing driverless, electric, multi-passenger vehicles. By specializing in planning, deploying and managing advanced autonomous shuttles for both private and public communities, Beep safely connects people, places and services in first-mile, last-mile mobility networks. Beep also leverages the data and learnings from its public road deployments to produce vehicle agnostic, edge solutions meant to enhance safety, access, artificial-intelligence and driverless operating capabilities of autonomous platforms. Beep delivers on a primary goal of enabling mobility-for-all with the services and software they provide. For more information visit: www.ridebeep.com
The Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority is the public transit provider for Pinellas County, providing more than 12.1 million rides per year. PSTA operates 40 bus and trolley routes with a fleet of 210 vehicles. More information is available at www.psta.net