Autonomous shuttles expand routes in Lake Nona

Beep plans more driver-less shuttles in St. Petersburg, Port St. Lucie

LAKE NONA, Fla. – Since launching one year ago, BEEP, the autonomous shuttle company based in Lake Nona, announced that 16,000 passengers utilized the service, despite the pandemic pushing people to work from home and even halting the service for months earlier this year.

News 6 first reported on BEEP in 2019 when first responders trained with the shuttles and when BEEP officially launched last September.

In just the last two months, the Lake Nona company launched three new shuttle routes, totaling eight shuttles across four routes.

Routes for BEEP autonomous shuttles in Lake Nona. (Courtesy: BEEP) (Copyright 2020 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

One of the new lines in place, Blue Line - Laureate Park Model Homes, is meant specifically for new homebuyers to get around easily to see all the new housing options available.

Before the coronavirus pandemic, up to 15 people could fit at a time inside the shuttle.

While the shuttles can drive themselves, BEEP officials told News 6 that federal regulations dictate that a driver must operate the shuttles.

“We believe in late 2021, we’ll be able to take some of these routes and start to remove those attendants from the equation,” BEEP CEO Joe Moye said.

BEEP’s CEO told News 6 there are plans to utilize the shuttles' cameras as a form of security, and going driverless.

“We’re going to be deploying a route later this year,” Moye said. “It’s not going to be transporting passengers. But it’s going to be doing security services at night on the campus in a couple areas and that’s going to our first test of that level four autonomy.”

The company recently launched a shuttle service in Hillsborough County and plans on adding shuttles in St. Petersburg and Port St. Lucie before the end of the year.

A BEEP spokesperson said that over the course of the last year, traveling 9,000 miles, they have not been involved in any accidents.

BEEP is also hiring for local positions at its new 10,000 square foot headquarters as well as for future launch sites. To learn more, click here

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