Beep, a Florida-based autonomous mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) provider, announced that it will deploy the first autonomous shuttles at Yellowstone National Park with the National Parks Service (NPS) in May 2021. The pilot program will test multi-passenger, electric automated vehicle platforms to provide visitors an eco-friendly transportation alternative while exploring Yellowstone.
Beep said it is working with NPS, the Department of Transportation and Yellowstone National Park to safely plan, deploy and operate two autonomous shuttles in the Canyon Village. Exact shuttle stops, route locations and distance will be determined jointly between Beep and the NPS. According to sources at Yellowstone National Park, the initiative is part of the Yellowstone Visitor Use Management Program, which is focused on testing a range of pilot projects around the park to enhance the visitor experience.
“Yellowstone’s Visitor Use Management Program aligns with Beep’s mission to provide alternative, sustainable, and innovative transportation solutions meant to transform and improve mobility for all. This demonstration will help assess how emerging technologies can enhance the visitor experience while making the roads safer and less congested for everyone,” said Joe Moye, Beep CEO.
During the deployment, Beep will provide a suite of services for the pilot, including the autonomous vehicles, engineering, mapping of the routes and operational monitoring and management. The 100-percent electric autonomous shuttles will have zero emissions, said Beep and NPS.
Since launching in September 2019, Beep has safely transported more than16,000 passengers in its first year of operation on its initial pilot route, eliminating the equivalent of nearly 9,400 vehicle trips with carbon emissions that would have required 170 trees to reverse, said the company. More than seven new routes and programs are now in production. Beep is also the first autonomous vehicle service provider currently participating in NHTSA’s AV TEST Initiative public portal launched in September 2020 by USDOT.
Photo courtesy Mayo Clinic Florida