A little over a year ago, the Lake Nona community was introduced to Beep, the self-driving shuttles that are part of a large-scale mobility initiative called Move Nona. What was initially a one-mile route with two shuttles from the Laureate Park Village Center near Canvas to the Lake Nona Town Center has since expanded to include four different routes and eight shuttles.
The growth of the company was a direct result of the demands of the community and passengers. Beep is currently operating the longest and largest running autonomous shuttle mobility network in the country! This mobility network is in partnership with Tavistock Development Company. With the addition of the alternate routes and extra shuttles, Beep and Tavistock have now created “a micro-transit network providing residents with a safer, more efficient, and eco-friendly transportation alternative with access to the Town Center, Boxi Park, Pixon Apartments, Laureate Park Village Center, area model homes, the recreational area of the community including a City of Orlando public park, and Orlando VA Medical Center.”
Since the shuttles’ launch, Beep has had 16,000 passengers experience an autonomous ride with 4,000 rider hours and 9,000 miles traveled. The environmental impact Beep’s shuttles have had is exponential so far! A total of 9,400 vehicle trips have been removed from the road and has saved over 8,100 pounds of CO2 emissions, which typically requires around 170 trees to reverse the damage.
In addition to the growth in Lake Nona, Beep has experienced substantial company growth. Partnerships with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority, the Jacksonville Transportation Authority, and so much more have been created. Beep has received several notable achievements throughout the year of being on the road, including:
- Autonomous delivery of COVID-19 tests without an attendant onboard
- Delivering the first Olli 2.0 in the U.S.
- Selection as the only service provider for the Federal AV TEST Initiative
- Autonomous shuttle service with a transit agency in an urban environment
With so much success in just the first year of transit, Beep has some very exciting plans for the company’s future. Its expansion will continue throughout the year with a new 10,000-square-foot headquarters opening before the end of 2020. The headquarters will become the Beep Command Center and “will provide constant monitoring of the fleet in all deployment areas to ensure safe operation and vehicle performance across the fleets.” A 3,000-square-foot innovation lab “will serve as a collaborative space for strategic players in the autonomous vehicle eco-system to advance research and development.”
Even more growth for the company includes the launch of the Ride Beep App, which is currently available for free on iOS and Android platforms. “The app is the first step to providing passengers the ability to reserve seating on the shuttle in advance for [the] same day of service and ultimately schedule and hail rides, thus making mobility even more convenient for all.”
The month of November includes two additional launches in new cities – St. Petersburg and Port St. Lucie. Local growth here in Lake Nona will continue with planning already underway for implementation of an autonomous shuttle network consisting of more than 25 shuttles. This growth is possible with the aid of a $20 million USDOT BUILD grant for a mobility network. The network will consist of 22 miles of multi-modal pathways.
Beep is also hiring for several positions, including autonomous shuttle specialists, finance and project managers, and a recruiter. If you’re interested in keeping up with Beep’s growth, to apply for one of the open positions, or to get more information, visit www.go-beep.com.
Photos Courtesy of Beep