Through a public and private partnership, the Jacksonville Transportation Authority is helping support the rigorous testing of autonomous vehicles in order to expand mobility possibilities for their community.
Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA) is engaged in testing various AV initiatives at its Test and Learn facility.
The JTA Test Program
The JTA initiative focuses on solutions such as AV Shuttles and Autonomous kits that will be suitable for their Ultimate Urban Circulator (U2C) Project in the Jacksonville urban core. Multiple vehicles and autonomous solutions from the industry are expected to be tested and evaluated in order to develop specifications and validation for the U2C Project.
Providing Vehicles and Services
Beep is participating in the test program by providing autonomous shuttles, and expert services supporting technical and operational requirements. Of note, Beep is working with the agency to train and certify their operational staff, test the various features and functions of the shuttles, and support key events that promote community and industry awareness for the JTA’s forthcoming U2C Project.
Testing and Training
Part of the operational support includes training first responders on how to address potential incidents involving autonomous vehicles. This training is one of Beep’s services and part of its mission to enable innovators like JTA to advance their autonomous technology solutions in a way that is pragmatic and practical, with a rigorous focus on public safety and security.
Pandemic Response Deployment
During the COVID-19 pandemic, both organizations established a public-private partnership with Mayo Clinic in Florida as an extension of their test and learn program. The team was able to plan, deploy, and manage a fully autonomous fleet of shuttles to transport COVID-19 samples collected from a drive-thru testing site to another building on the property for testing.
JTA has plans to redesign an existing Skyway in Jacksonville and modernize it by repurposing an outdated automated people mover into an autonomous transportation network. The Ultimate Urban Circulator will expand its existing automated people mover system into an urban circulator system that transitions to street level to provide greater connectivity. The redesign will focus on an initial corridor and phased implementation to other areas of Jacksonville, immediately following the initial buildout.
Closing Statement“Those communities that prepare themselves for this new technology will be the communities that can leverage it for economic development, helping our customers travel more efficiently, and most importantly, they need to do it safely,” Nathaniel P. Ford Sr., Chief Executive Officer of the Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA)
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