Beep, a developer of multi-passenger, electric, autonomous mobility solutions, has released ridership results following the “highly successful” completion of Yellowstone National Park’s first-ever autonomous shuttle program.
The Electric Driverless Demonstration in Yellowstone (TEDDY), named as an ode to Teddy Roosevelt, gave a total of 10,000 passengers a lift in and around the national park, racking up 4,000 vehicle trips and 2,100 miles.
The shuttle pilot enabled the National Park Service to test the feasibility and sustainability of autonomous mobility in a national park.
Joe Moye, Beep CEO, says: “During the project we were able to validate, in partnership with the National Park Service, that Beep’s turnkey autonomous mobility solutions and safety-first approach delivers environmentally-friendly transportation options for thousands of national park visitors.
“The most striking result was the high number of riders who experienced the project – and their confidence in the technology as a means of accessing a number of destinations in the park.
“In this day and age, when there is still apprehension across the general public on the realities surrounding autonomous vehicle use, we demonstrated how to elevate safety, implement new technologies in real-world environments and steadily progress society toward trustworthy autonomous mobility solutions.”
For this project, Beep delivered a unique rider experience through a partnership with Local Motors, which manufacturers Olli, the world’s first 3D-printed autonomous vehicle.
With safety as a top priority, Olli used high-definition sensors to continually analyze the road 360-degrees around the vehicle before deciding how to safely proceed in the presence of wildlife, pedestrians and vehicles.
All shuttles were operated with an on-board attendant, and Beep further ensured passenger safety by providing continuous oversight through the Beep Command Center at its headquarters in Lake Nona, Florida.
Vikrant Aggarwal, Local Motors CEO, says: “The results of the Yellowstone project, total mileage, insights from riders and new learnings for the autonomous system are very encouraging.
“Projects like this give Local Motors confidence as we expand to offer longer routes in more complex settings. Partnering with Beep helps us deliver the value of autonomous vehicles and demonstrate step-wise improvements in today’s AV technology.”
The project consisted of Olli shuttles operating across two routes between June 9 and Aug. 31 for seven days a week – collecting vital information including ridership, route optimization, vehicle operations and overall ride experience.
Data collected, and other learnings from the project, are helping the NPS plan potential future developments of autonomous vehicle operations at parks across the country.
The NPS selected Yellowstone, the nation’s first national park, due to its popularity and remote location. Yellowstone remains the sixth most visited national park in the country and receives more than four million visits annually. For this project, the shuttles provided passengers safe and direct access to key destinations which included visitor services, lodging, campgrounds and other locations with limited parking.