Beep, a Florida-based autonomous Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) provider, will deploy the first autonomous shuttles at Yellowstone National Park with the National Parks Service (NPS) in May 2021. The pilot program will test multi-passenger, electric automated vehicle platforms to provide visitors a safe, innovative and eco-friendly transportation alternative while exploring Yellowstone.
Beep will work in concert with both NPS Park Planning, Facilities and Lands Directorate, the Department of Transportation and Yellowstone National Park to safely plan, deploy and operate two autonomous shuttles in the Canyon Village.
Exact shuttle stops, route locations and distance will be determined jointly between Beep and the NPS. The initiative is part of the Yellowstone Visitor Use Management Program, which is focused on testing a range of pilot projects around the park to enhance the visitor experience.
In a separate study, Yellowstone is partnering with the NPS Intermountain Regional Alternative Transportation Program, the NPS Denver Service Center, and the DOT Volpe Center to analyze the opportunities, risks and costs of local shuttles possibly originating at Old Faithful and Canyon Village.
Project partners will also look at potential system locations, routes, stops, fleet requirements, business models, ridership and costs. The study will include qualitative impacts to visitor experience, safety, park operations, resources and stakeholders. The park expects the study will conclude in 2022. The outcome of the study will inform whether piloting a local transit service in Yellowstone is feasible.
During the autonomous shuttle pilot deployment, Beep will provide a full suite of services for the pilot including the autonomous vehicles, engineering, and mapping of the routes, complete operational, monitoring and management for regular oversight and to support ridership demand. The pilot will be supported and monitored by an onboard shuttle specialist, on the ground staff and Beep’s Global Command Center.
Beep has the largest and longest running single site AV shuttle fleet in the United States, located in Lake Nona, Florida—a 17 square-mile planned development in Orlando. Since launching in September 2019, Beep safely transported more than 16,000 passengers in its first year of operation. Beep is also the first AV service provider currently participating in NHTSA’s AV TEST Initiative public portal launched in September 2020 by USDOT.