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Orlando and Beep launch autonomous shuttle pilot

The City of Orlando has started a six-month autonomous shuttle pilot program in partnership with Central Florida Regional Transportation Authority (LYNX) and Beep, an Orlando-based provider of autonomous shared mobility solutions.

The autonomous pilot, called SWAN Shuttle (Shuttling With Autonomous Navigation), will provide the city and LYNX data and learnings to guide the city’s transportation strategy on how shared, electric and autonomous vehicles can enhance accessibility, improve the quality of life for residents and ensure the city remains future-ready and sustainable.

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer says: “The City of Orlando believes communities must be connected to thrive, and so we are always looking at new ways to embrace creative, innovative ways to do this.

“With the expansion of autonomous vehicle shuttles into our neighborhoods, we can converge cutting-edge technology with new mobility solutions to further redefine the way our community moves. The SWAN Shuttle builds on our diverse network of mobility options and furthers our commitment to our residents, our environment and our future.”

Residents, visitors and businesses will have access to the fare-free SWAN Shuttle pilot seven days a week in Creative Village starting on August 20, 2023.

The roughly one-mile route will have five stops connecting LYNX Central Station and SunRail to UCF/Valencia Downtown, Luminary Green Park, Electronic Arts (EA) and Parramore and Creative Village residents and businesses.

The shuttles will operate in the existing bus lane dedicated to the LYMMO Orange Line in the early afternoon and evening from 10 am to 2 pm and 6.30 pm to 10.30 pm.

Tiffany Homler Hawkins, LYNX CEO, says: “We move thousands of customers each and every day.

“This partnership is an innovative way to test technology and understand how it will benefit our riders in a real-time setting that we believe will benefit the community for years to come.”

Beep is an Orlando-based company with extensive experience in safely deploying and testing autonomous shuttles in communities from Florida to California, including the country’s largest and longest-running autonomous shuttle network in Lake Nona, a living lab and master-planned community in the City of Orlando.

Beep’s national command center in Lake Nona will provide monitoring and oversight of the Creative Village SWAN Shuttle pilot alongside its other project sites across the United States.

Beep CEO Joe Moye says: “We are proud to be part of a forward-thinking and innovative community committed to the investment in technology that will improve the quality of life for its residents and the livability of our city.

“Our partnership with the City of Orlando and LYNX provides the collaboration necessary to ensure autonomous vehicles are tested safely so that we can incorporate community feedback and prepare for the coming era of autonomous electric transportation, which will improve road safety, decrease carbon emissions and extend mobility to everyone.”

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