Autonomous Shuttles on the Road in Orange County
On Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019, the region’s first autonomous shuttles were on the road in Lake Nona. Orlando’s fastest-growing community has two fully electric, driverless shuttles in service that operate daily on an inaugural fixed route connecting Lake Nona Town Center with the neighborhood village center in Laureate Park. Together, with mobility solutions provider Beep and shuttle manufacturer NAVYA, Lake Nona’s autonomous shuttles are setting the standard for new mobility technology in the region.
“Bringing the first all-electric autonomous shuttles to Central Florida is a defining moment for the future of transportation in our region and helps position Orange County as a place to demonstrate new, innovative technology,” said Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings. “Autonomous shuttles are being used worldwide. In the U.S., they can be found in Arlington, Texas and Las Vegas, Nevada – and now we can proudly add Orlando to that list thanks to Lake Nona, Beep, and NAVYA.”
Lake Nona’s shuttles each hold up to 10 passengers and will operate at a maximum speed of 15 mph as part of the pilot program. The shuttles will operate daily from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and from 6 to 10 p.m., though hours may change as the shuttles become more integrated with traffic flow. Eventually, the plan is to increase the number of shuttles and expand the route network in the future.
In addition to supporting improved mobility in Central Florida, Lake Nona’s new autonomous shuttle service supports the state’s ambitions to become a national leader in autonomous vehicle testing. Florida recently passed legislation to help cultivate the autonomous vehicle sector by bringing more businesses to the state for autonomous testing. Lake Nona, Beep, and NAVYA join a growing list of public and private companies exploring innovative solutions to improve connectivity within this community and beyond.
“In Lake Nona, we dreamed of creating an infrastructure that would enable tomorrow’s innovators to thrive… tomorrow is here!” said Tavistock Group Senior Managing Director Rasesh Thakkar. “As proof, we’re excited to advance, along with our two visionary Mayors, the relationship with Beep and NAVYA creating the region’s first autonomous shuttle program launching the future of mobility.”
Photo Caption: Autonomous shuttles now operational in Lake Nona Community in Orange County. Photo Credit: Lake Nona