First responders train as autonomous shuttles come to Lake Nona

Beep shuttles expected to be running this summer

Training was held this week so first responders can prepare for any type of emergency involving an autonomous vehicle.

ORLANDO, Fla. – The Lake Nona community is just weeks away before driverless shuttles hit the road.

Before Beep and its autonomous shuttles can begin in the area, first responders need to be ready in case of an emergency. 

"Lake Nona is kind of our smart city hub," Interim Fire Chief Rich Wales said. 

Firefighters had a chance to get up close with the shuttles as they learned how it would be unlike any other kind of vehicles they had trained on before. 

What you need to know about Lake Nona's new autonomous shuttles

"This is going to be a little different challenge for us," Wales said." Training our firefighters how to control these vehicles should they need to move them out of the way, close doors, open doors, cut power all the things we might have to do should something happen." 

The shuttles can top out at 16 miles per hour, can hold up to 15 people each, and will travel on a fixed route throughout the 17-square-mile community. 

"We'll always have an attendant on the shuttle that's able to do and needed to be done from a manual perspective," Beep CEO Joe Moye said.  

Part of the training involved first responders manually taking over controls of the shuttles, with the help of an actual xBox controller. 

Beep autonomous shuttles are expected to be on the road a little later than initially planned, now slated for sometime this summer. 


About the Author:

It has been an absolute pleasure for Clay LePard living and working in Orlando since he joined News 6 in July 2017. Previously, Clay worked at WNEP TV in Scranton, Pennsylvania, where he brought viewers along to witness everything from unprecedented access to the Tobyhanna Army Depot to an interview with convicted double-murderer Hugo Selenski.