Jacksonville, Fla.

Mayo Clinic

Using autonomous vehicles to transport COVID-19 specimens, Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida was able to safely move thousands of COVID-19 test samples from a drive-thru site to their lab for processing with no attendant onboard to limit risk of exposure.

Mayo clinic boarding

Beep and the Jacksonville Transportation Authority launched autonomous vehicles to transport COVID-19 tests at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville. The self-driving shuttles with no attendant onboard served two primary objectives. 

First, it freed up cycles for Mayo Clinic staff, enabling them to focus on other important tasks. Secondly, moving the samples autonomously removed a level of human interaction with the tests and helped reduce exposure to the virus.

The autonomous shuttles transported the COVID-19 tests on a 0.5-mile route from a drive-through testing site on campus and then delivered them to a processing laboratory on the property. The COVID-19 test samples were placed in secure containers prior to Mayo Clinic healthcare professionals loading them onto the shuttle. Once the samples were secured on the vehicle, a remote operator initiated the shuttle's journey from the testing site to the drop-off location. While the shuttle was along the route, it was monitored by on-ground support staff equipped with a wireless emergency stop control.

“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.” 

Nathaniel P. Ford Sr
CEO, Jacksonville Transportation Authority

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