Jul 11, 2023
City of Altamonte Springs Launches New Autonomous Vehicle Pilot
ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla., July 11, 2023 — Altamonte Springs residents will soon have the opportunity to experience CraneRIDES – a new autonomous vehicle (AV) shuttle project in the Uptown Altamonte area. The City of Altamonte Springs is launching a first-of-its-kind phased AV pilot with Beep Inc., provider of autonomous shared mobility solutions, to explore alternative transit modes and offer solutions for the changing economic and urban landscape. CraneRIDES is an environmentally-friendly and proactive initiative to extend mobility and access to goods and services for residents, visitors and businesses.
This cutting-edge AV shuttle pilot provides convenient and sustainable transport options to connect people to major activity centers. Residents and visitors who live, work and play in Altamonte Springs can hop on to experience the future of this emerging technology. Though Altamonte Springs is at regional crossroads where millions drive through each year, residents and visitors will now have alternatives to get around easily while saving time by avoiding congested roads or having to park multiple times. AV shuttle stops will be convenient to local destinations.
The State of Florida’s Department of Transportation (FDOT) chose the City to serve as a testbed for the AV shuttle project and provide data on implementing the technology in other municipalities. To onboard this new pilot project, the FDOT awarded a service development grant which provides 50% funding of the $2.4 million for the first three years of operation.
“The State has a vested interest in developing multiple modes of transportation that can efficiently move people. Autonomous vehicles can be part of the solution,” said Florida Department of Transportation District 5 Secretary John E. Tyler. “With the hundreds of people moving to Florida every day, building new roads cannot be our only focus. Our partnership with the City of Altamonte Springs creates a scalable, replicable model that other Florida communities can now evaluate through hands-on experience because of our CraneRIDES AV partnership with the City.”
Beep will provide the technology and shuttles to make this possible. Beep has extensive experience safely deploying and testing autonomous shuttles in communities from Florida to California.
Within three years, the 100% electric AV shuttle network in Altamonte Springs will provide residents and visitors first and last-mile connectivity from Uptown Altamonte, the City’s main retail business center, to the Altamonte Springs SunRail Station – Central Florida’s commuter rail service.
“Altamonte Springs has a rich history in pioneering many high-profile initiatives over the years with the goal of preparing our city for the future,” said Altamonte Springs City Manager Frank Martz. “The data and lessons learned from our project will serve as a blueprint for other cities on utilizing autonomous shuttles to create greater access for everyone.”
The first phase of CraneRIDES will test two electric AV shuttles on a nearly 1.5-mile route connecting Altamonte Mall, Renaissance Centre, Cranes Roost and AMC Theatre. Residents and visitors who use the AV shuttle network can experience the vehicles seven days a week by utilizing one of four stops along the route.
Futures phases of the Altamonte Springs project will further expand and enhance passenger services with the introduction of these new vehicles and extend connectivity to the AdventHealth Altamonte campus, Altamonte Springs SunRail Station and CenterPointe, a planned 55-acre mixed-use development with a hotel, retail establishments and residential living.
“We’re excited to join the Altamonte Springs community to help enhance the lives of residents with safe, sustainable, and accessible autonomous mobility networks,” said Beep CEO Joe Moye. “Advancing these important transportation alternatives requires testing these vehicles in practical use cases where the public can experience improved mobility on quieter, safer streets. I can’t say enough about the vision of the Altamonte Springs leadership for their efforts in leading the way in this important area of transformation.”
About the City of Altamonte Springs
Altamonte Springs is a city born of innovation, fiscal responsibility and progressive ideas. The City is completely debt free and maintains one of the lowest tax rates in Florida. City leadership, staff, residents and local businesses share a vision of making Altamonte Springs the best place in Florida to live, work, raise a family, earn a degree, seek medical care, build a business and more. Few locations in the state offer the robust services Altamonte Springs provides at such a low cost. From forward-thinking projects and proactive initiatives to an evolving business climate and environmentally-friendly projects, Altamonte Springs has set an example for other municipalities by striving to work beyond the typical constraints of local government.
The City has a perfect blend of community spirit and bustling activities that help create a wholesome environment for residents and visitors alike. Residential tree-lined streets and beautiful natural parks reflect the charming and unique character of what locals call home. Not to mention, the City’s robust events program is the most exciting in the region; all generously funded by the area’s corporate sponsors and hosting more than one million visitors each year, Altamonte Springs’ programs infuse into the community a sense of excitement and entertainment, while enriching its diverse social fabric.