Beep, City of Jacksonville Launch Autonomous Innovation Center

The companies partnered to open a command center for storing, servicing and monitoring Jacksonville's autonomous vehicles

Liz Hughes, Editor, IoT World Today

May 30, 2024

3 Min Read
And artists rendering of Autonomous Innovation Center with vehicles entering and exiting

Beep is breaking ground on the country’s first autonomous innovation center to help manage autonomous vehicles at scale.

The facility is intended to manage the large fleet of autonomous vehicles as part of the nation's largest publicly funded autonomous vehicle program.

The mobility-as-a-service company has teamed with Florida’s Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA) and Balfour Beatty Vision 2 Reality (V2R) to launch the Autonomous Innovation Center. Located at Lavilla, the center will be an advanced command-and-control center to store, service, monitor and maintain the city’s electric, autonomous mobility system. 

The project is the first phase in JTA’s Ultimate Urban Circulator (U2C) Program to modernize and expand transportation options in downtown Jacksonville and incorporate autonomous vehicles into the city’s transportation plan.

According to the announcement, creating an innovative mobility network to link the rapidly growing downtown with neighborhoods on both sides of the St. Johns River is a crucial element in revitalizing the area.

“The groundbreaking of the AIC is a culmination of hard work alongside the V2R team to provide the Jacksonville community with at-scale autonomous mobility,” said JTA CEO Nat Ford. “Throughout this project, JTA has leveraged its partners’ experience and expertise, and this groundbreaking is a visible symbol of our collective, forward-thinking progress. Today, we are one step closer in realizing our shared goal of providing a passenger service that is sustainable and adaptable and places Jacksonville as a city at the forefront of modernization.”

Related:Beep Self-Driving Vehicle Network Launched on Florida State Campus

Beep is offering expertise on the command-and-control center and its design to help the JTA and its community plan features for managing autonomous vehicle systems, focusing on safety, sustainability and efficiency.

Balfour Beatty is expected to build the two-story facility with the command-and-control center on the top floor. The first floor would house maintenance bays for vehicle service, as well as covered AV parking with charging stations. 

Once complete, the center would offer guided tours and educational opportunities showcasing the program in action. 

Beep CEO Joe Moye called the introduction of the AIC a major milestone for the program and a “reflection of how the JTA, Beep and entire U2C team are revolutionizing the integration and management of autonomous mobility networks in our communities.”

“Beep’s initial autonomous vehicles on the BSIC will be supervised and monitored through the AIC’s command-and-control operation, serving as a blueprint for providing a safe and reliable transportation solution for Jacksonville residents and visitors,” Moye said. “In addition, the command center is designed for scale, enabling the orchestration of future mobility networks with over 100 vehicles to connect key areas of the city, such as Brooklyn, Springfield, San Marco and Riverside. We join the community in celebrating the future of transportation right here in Jacksonville.”

Related:Beep Self-Driving Shuttles Arrive at Hawaii Airport

Earlier this year, Beep rolled out its autonomous vehicle service at Florida State College at Jacksonville in collaboration with JTA. The rollout marked Beep’s first full-scale deployment at a Florida university campus.

About the Author(s)

Liz Hughes

Editor, IoT World Today, IoT World Today

Liz Hughes is an award-winning digital media editor with more than two decades of experience in newspaper, magazine and online media industries. 

A proven digital media strategist and editor, Liz has produced content and offered editorial support and leadership for a variety of web publications, including Fast Company, NBC Boston, Street Fight, QuinStreet, WTWH Media, AOL/Patch Media and Design News.

A skilled social media strategist experienced in developing and maintaining an audience across multiple platforms and brands, Liz also enjoys sharing her knowledge and expertise to help businesses small and large.

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