May 1, 2023
Autonomous shared mobility provider Beep has announced the first West Coast deployment of its self-driving shuttles.
The Florida-based company has partnered with the Contra Costa Transportation Authority which will see its autonomous vehicles (AVs) put into use at Bishop Ranch business park in the city of San Ramon, in Northern California.
The program will provide employees, visitors and residents of Bishop Ranch access to the electric shuttles on a four-stop route that connects the San Ramon Transit Center, city center and various corporate offices, which will be operational Monday through Friday from 7.30 a.m. to 5.30 p.m.
The AVs are manufactured by French company Navya and use lidar, cameras and GPS tech to deliver their automated functionality. They can carry up to eight passengers plus an attendant – who will provide guidance if required – and have a maximum speed limit of 15 mph. Riders under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult.
Their introduction marks the launch of the Contra Costa Transportation Authority’s PRESTO initiative, which will see a new suite of mobility options offered in the Bay Area, including bike share, scooter share, and express bus services. It aims to increase transit options for all, particularly underserved communities in the county.
For Beep, the new service represents expansion in a new part of the United States, following deployments in Cary, North Carolina; the smart city of Peachtree Corners in Georgia; Peoria, Arizona; Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming and various locations in Florida.
“Our expansion to the West Coast, with a forward-thinking organization that truly understands the power of autonomous mobility testing, is a great step toward supporting public transit and addressing first and last-mile challenges in the state of California,” said Beep CEO Joe Moye.
“The confidence CCTA is putting into Beep’s autonomous solutions further demonstrates our capabilities as a company and our reputation with major transportation authorities. We are thrilled to be working with CCTA, and we look forward to providing a safe and efficient autonomous mobility experience to passengers at Bishop Ranch.”
CCTA Board Chair Federal Glover added: “Beep has shown significant leadership in the autonomous mobility space, which is reflected in successful projects with private communities, public transit authorities and the US National Park Service. I have no doubt this will be a successful collaboration that gives the public a chance to experience how autonomous shuttles can be integrated into our communities.”
Beep and CCTA also confirmed they will launch an automated service at a second site in 2024, although the location has yet to be revealed.
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