Jacksonville Awards Balfour Beatty, Beep and V2R Team ‘Largest’ Public Sector Autonomous Shuttle Project Ever
The Jacksonville Transportation Authority has selected the Balfour Beatty Vision 2 Reality team and Beep, a developer of electric and autonomous multi-passenger mobility solutions, to deliver Phase I of the Ultimate Urban Circulator project, the Bay Street Innovation Corridor downtown of Jacksonville.
Nathaniel Ford Sr, CEO of JTA, said, “As the first phase of the U2C program, the Bay Street Innovation Corridor lays the foundation for the U2C vision by introducing autonomous vehicles and improved technology to the main mobility corridor. from downtown Jacksonville.
“We are proud to partner with the Balfour Beatty V2R team and its consortium of world-class, leading companies like BJaceep.
“Their expertise and innovation will help JTA deliver the nation’s first public transportation network powered by sustainable electric autonomous vehicles.
“By leveraging, modernizing and expanding our existing Skyway APM system and improving street-level infrastructure, the U2C is setting the bar for the rest of the country.”
Joe Moye, CEO of Beep, said, “We are honored that the Jacksonville Transportation Authority has trusted Beep and the V2R team to deliver the nation’s largest self-driving shuttle project to improve mobility for all. in the city center.
“U2C Phase I builds on our successful partnership to safely test autonomous vehicles and build passenger and community confidence in these transformative transportation solutions.
“We look forward to leveraging our experience with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s AV testing program to positively impact safety and durability with this strategic program.
“JTA’s U2C project will transform the city of Jacksonville and provide its residents with enhanced mobility options designed to activate the community and make transportation safer.
Dave Campbell, Project Director, Balfour Beatty, says, “Reinventing and redeveloping the Bay Street Innovation Corridor is a unique opportunity.
“The U2C project will serve as a framework for many communities to follow. We are thrilled at the opportunity to partner with JTA to realize this vision and establish the nation’s first autonomous transportation network.
The Bay Street Innovation Corridor is an approximately 3-mile, upgraded autonomous vehicle transportation solution that runs along East Bay Street in downtown Jacksonville from Hogan Street to the city’s sports and entertainment district, which includes TIAA Bank Field, 121 Financial Field and the Vystar Veterans Memorial Arena.
The project is supported by a $12.5 million BUILD grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation, funding from the Florida Department of Transportation, the North Florida Transportation Planning Organization, and local funds.
Phase II of the U2C program includes a full conversion of JTA’s elevated Skyway APM system. Phase III will extend street-level extensions into neighboring communities to connect downtown Jacksonville to neighboring neighborhoods.
The Belfour Beatty V2R team includes Beep, Superior Construction Southeast, WGI Inc., Stantec Consulting Services and Miller Electric.
Beep’s partnership with the JTA began when the Authority launched its AV Test & Learn program at its Armsdale Test & Learn Center. Since 2017, JTA’s Automation and Innovation Division has tested seven autonomous vehicles and four autonomous vehicle platforms, and engaged with community partners, local schools, first responders, and disability advocates to ensure that U2C is safe, sustainable and accessible to all.
From April to June 2020, JTA and Beep deployed a fleet of autonomous vehicles operating in Level 4 autonomy to support the Mayo Clinic’s Covid-19 testing efforts at its Jacksonville campus.
During the four-month period, self-driving vehicles safely transported more than 30,000 Covid-19 samples collected from a drive-through testing site to hospital labs for testing.
The Mayo Clinic project has since received national and international recognition from the American Public Transportation Association and the World ITS Congress.