Beep AV Shuttles for Yellowstone

  • November 2, 2020
  • William Payne

Florida-based autonomous Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) provider Beep will deploy autonomous shuttles at Yellowstone National Park with the National Parks Service (NPS) in May 2021. The pilot programme will test multi-passenger, electric automated vehicles as a safe, eco-friendly transport alternative in Yellowstone.

Beep specialises in autonomous mobility for planned communities and low speed environments across the public and private sector, including transport hubs, medical and university campuses, and town centres.

The company will work with the NPS Park Planning, Facilities and Lands Directorate, the Department of Transportation and Yellowstone National Park to deploy and operate two autonomous shuttles in the Canyon Village.

Exact shuttle stops, route locations and distance will be decided by Beep and the NPS. According to a press release by Yellowstone National Park, the initiative is part of the Yellowstone Visitor Use Management Programme, which is focused on testing a range of pilot projects around the park to enhance the visitor experience.

During the deployment, Beep will provide services including the autonomous vehicles, engineering, and mapping of the routes, operational, monitoring and management for regular oversight and to support ridership demand.

By using electric autonomous shuttles that have zero emissions, the deployment aligns with the park’s priority to improve visitor safety, access, and experience. The pilot will be supported and monitored by an onboard shuttle specialist, on the ground staff and Beep’s Global Command Centre to ensure safe and reliable operation.

Passengers can also expect processes and procedures onboard that align with best practices for ridesharing and transit such as frequent cleaning procedures, modified seating capacity, onboard hand sanitiser and disinfectant wipes.

Beep claims a perfect safety record for the largest and longest running single site AV shuttle fleet in the United States, located in Lake Nona, Florida, a 17 square-mile planned development in Orlando. Since launching in September 2019, Beep says it has safely transported over 16,000 passengers in its first year of operation on its initial route eliminating the equivalent of nearly 9,400 vehicle trips with carbon emissions that would have required 170 trees to reverse.

Beep is the first AV service provider currently participating in NHTSA’s AV TEST Initiative public portal launched in September 2020 by the US Department of Transport (USDOT).   

“It’s an honour to be the first in the country to provide autonomous shuttles to the NPS and its visitors. 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.