The first fully electric, driverless shuttles operating in Lake Nona represent the next step toward public acceptance and adoption of automated vehicle technology research, testing and deployment in the Orlando region.
Autonomous vehicles are a reality in the Orlando region. The first fully electric, driverless shuttles now operate daily on a fixed route throughout the southeastern Orlando community of Lake Nona, connecting its entertainment district and residential communities. The shuttles, which each hold up to 10 passengers and operate at a maximum speed of 15 mph as part of the pilot program, represent the next step toward public acceptance and adoption of automated vehicle technology research, testing and deployment in the region.
Preparing Floridians for the next generation of transportation is critical to both the economy and quality of life in the state as congestion inches roadways toward maximum capacity. With the Orlando region projected to add 1,500 new residents each week by 2030, resulting in potentially 600,000 more personal vehicles traveling on Interstate 4, transportation leaders are shifting focus toward multimodal solutions fueled by public-private partnerships.
“In Lake Nona, we dreamed of creating an infrastructure that would enable tomorrow’s innovators to thrive,” said Tavistock Group Senior Managing Director Rasesh Thakkar. “As proof, we’re excited to advance, along with Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings and City of Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, the relationship with Beep and NAVYA creating the region’s first autonomous shuttle program launching the future of mobility.”
Operated by Beep and manufactured by French company NAVYA, a global leader in autonomous vehicles and driving systems for the transport of passengers and goods, the shuttles are monitored in Beep’s headquarters and central command center located in Lake Nona Town Center. The command center’s sophisticated system uses the latest technology to monitor the movement and operation of each shuttle providing valuable data that will continually optimize vehicle performance.
“This is a significant milestone for Beep, our partners, and urban mobility altogether,” said Beep CEO Joe Moye.
“We are pleased to work with Lake Nona, the City of Orlando and Orange County to deliver this cutting-edge transportation solution to the community.”Joe Moye, CEO of Beep
Transportation in Florida is experiencing a fundamental shift thanks to technological disruption. In June, Governor Ron DeSantis signed House Bill 311, which established a statewide statutory framework to test and deploy automated vehicles without the need for a human driver present. As a result, the Orlando region was able to host the Automated Vehicles Symposium, which highlighted assets that make Orlando the hub for the autonomous vehicle industry and allowed companies the freedom to deploy AV technology on public roads. As the largest tourist market in the world, Orlando is an ideal market for AV testing, thanks to an extensive infrastructure, diverse weather conditions and varied city landscapes.
Lake Nona, Beep, and NAVYA join a growing list of public and private companies exploring innovative solutions to improve autonomous connectivity throughout the region. With the future of transportation on trajectory to be shared, electric and autonomous, Lake Nona’s new autonomous shuttle service further advances the region as a national leader in autonomous vehicle testing.