The autonomous visitor shuttles will launch May 2021
Earlier this week, Florida-based autonomous Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) provider Beep announced plans to deploy fully electric autonomous shuttles at Yellowstone National Park. The program, conducted in partnership with the National Parks Service (NPS), will launch in May 2021, just in time for the summer visitor rush. The pilot will test multi-passenger, electric automated vehicle platforms as an eco-friendly form of alternative visitor transportation.
“It’s an honor to be the first in the country to provide autonomous shuttles to the NPS and its visitors,” said Joe Moye, Beep CEO. “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.”
Together, Beep and the NPS will determine how long the shuttle route should be as well as where the exact stops will be located.
Beep’s deployment will include a “full suite of services for the pilot including the autonomous vehicles, engineering, and mapping of the routes, complete operational, monitoring and management for regular oversight and to support ridership demand.”
According to Yellowstone National Park, the autonomous shuttle initiative is part of the Yellowstone Visitor Use Management Program, which outlines the Park’s commitment to testing a range of pilot projects to enhance the visitor experience. The program is specifically looking to address parking overflow and traffic jam issues related to visitation growth. If fact, annual visitation has increased close to 40% since 2008, further driving the need for safe and efficient park transportation.
“This demonstration will help assess how emerging technologies can enhance the visitor experience while making the roads safer and less congested for everyone,” stated Moye.