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Jacksonville-area first responders, fire fighters and law enforcement officials are more prepared for the future of public transportation after completing emergency training with autonomous vehicles.
The JTA, along with Florida-based autonomous mobility solutions company Beep, First Transit and autonomous vehicle manufacturer NAVYA, hosted a day-long training session at the North Florida TPO campus, focusing on the latest AV technology and how first responders should address emergency situations.
“As we continue developing autonomous vehicle services as part of the Ultimate Urban Circulator program in Jacksonville, it’s crucial that our law enforcement and fire and rescue partners familiarize themselves with this technology so they are prepared to encounter them under any circumstances,” said JTA CEO Nathaniel Ford Sr.
Participants from local and regional agencies received hands-on operational training and learned how to respond to scenarios involving potential hazards, passenger safety, immobilization and more.
“It is extremely important to the mission of JFRD that we continue to stay ahead of advancements in equipment and technology,” said Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department (JFRD) Interim Chief Keith Powers.
“Throughout its history, the JFRD has always trained on new technologies before they are implemented, so we were happy to train with these autonomous vehicles before they hit the street,” said Powers.
Beep, founded by experienced fleet managers and technology entrepreneurs, offers the next generation of services for passenger mobility to fleet operators in planned communities and low-speed environments across the public and private sector. This training is one of Beep’s services and part of its mission to enable innovators like JTA to advance their autonomous technology solutions in a way that is pragmatic and practical, with a rigorous focus on public safety and security.
“We are very excited to support the mission of the JFRD and offer training to this most critical audience,” said Joe Moye, Beep’s CEO. “This training enables First Responders to become familiar with and knowledgeable about the vehicles so that they can confidently interact with them.”
Beep has an exclusive dealer arrangement for the state of Florida, with NAVYA, a global leader in the autonomous vehicle (AV) market, and the manufacturer of the AUTONOM SHUTTLE which underpins Beeps services. The shuttles are fully autonomous, driverless, electric and utilizes advanced guidance and detection systems to interact in real time with their environment.
“The safety of our vehicles and all the passengers they transport is our first priority—always,” continued Moye. “NAVYA has a perfect safety record according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) Automated Driving Systems Voluntary Safety Self-Assessment (VSSA) Disclosure Index making them an ideal partner for Beep.”
The training comes as the JTA prepares Downtown Jacksonville and the surrounding neighborhoods for the Ultimate Urban Circulator (U2C) program, anchored by autonomous vehicles.
The JTA established the autonomous vehicle Test and Learn Track near the Sports and Entertainment Complex in 2017. Since then, the Authority has worked with autonomous vehicle manufactures like NAVYA to test, develop and prepare this technology for public use.
Along with our partners at JEA, North Florida TPO, FDOT and the City of Jacksonville, the JTA is currently developing Phase One of the U2C, called the Bay Street Innovation Corridor. This first leg will feature a fleet of 15 autonomous vehicles that will traverse a three-mile loop from Hogan Street in Downtown Jacksonville to the city’s Sports and Entertainment Complex.
The Bay Street Innovation Corridor also will link AVs to an extensive array of smart sensors, traffic signals and digital traffic solutions to increase mobility and to enhance the pedestrian experience in Downtown Jacksonville.
“As the leader in shared autonomous vehicle operations in North America, safety of passengers and property is paramount,” said Gregg Baxter, senior vice president of rail and emerging technology for First Transit. “We are proud to support the Bay Street Innovation Corridor initiative, JFRD and Beep for the emergency preparedness training.”
About the Jacksonville Transportation Authority
The Jacksonville Transportation Authority is an independent state agency serving Duval County, with multi-modal responsibilities. The JTA designs and constructs bridges and highways and provides varied mass transit services. These include express and regular bus service, monorail, ferry and on-demand services. The JTA serves the largest city in the continental U.S. in terms of landmass. An integrated transportation network is a critical element in any community to properly manage growth, provide mobility and offer a good quality of life.
Learn more at www.jtafla.com
Beep is an autonomous mobility solution company delivering the next generation of services for passenger mobility to fleet operators in planned communities and low speed environments across the public and private sector, including transportation hubs, medical and university campuses, town centers and more.
For more information visit: www.go-beep.com
NAVYA is a leading French name in autonomous driving systems. With more than 290 employees in France (Paris and Lyon) and in the United States (Michigan), NAVYA aims to become the leading player for the supply of autonomous driving systems for the transportation of passengers and goods. Since 2015, NAVYA has been the first to market and put into service these autonomous mobility solutions. The AUTONOM®SHUTTLE was launched in September 2015 and more than 130 units have been sold as of 30 June 2019, notably in the United States, France, Germany, Switzerland, Japan and Australia. The AUTONOM® TRACT, whose first road tests will start shortly, is dedicated to transporting goods. Created in 2014 with the support of Robolution Capital, investment fund managed by 360 Capital Partners, reference shareholder. NAVYA’s shareholders also include the Gravitation fund and Paris Region Venture Fund (Région Île-de-France) managed by Cap Decisif Management as well as Valeo and Keolis groups.
NAVYA is listed on the Euronext regulated market in Paris (ISIN code: FR0013018041- NAVYA).
For more information visit: www.navya.tech/en
About First Transit
First Transit, Inc. has 60 years of experience and is one of the largest private-sector providers of mobility solutions in North America moving more than 350 million passengers annually. First Transit, Inc. provides operation, management and consulting for more than 300 locations in 39 states, Canada, Puerto Rico, Panama and India for transit authorities, state departments of transportation, municipalities, hospitals, universities and private companies. First Transit employs more than 19,500 dedicated transit professionals.
For additional information, please visit www.firsttransit.com