ORLANDO, Fla. — Florida-based autonomous mobility solutions company Beep announced this week it is conducting an enhanced training program for Orlando first responders designed to familiarize them with autonomous technology and train them on appropriate actions to take if the vehicles are present on a scene. Led by experts from NAVYA’s Michigan assembly plant, the training, held earlier this week, consisted of familiarizing first responders with all the systems aboard NAVYA’s AUTONOM shuttle.
Training reviewed how to interact with the vehicle in emergency situations and include a hands-on session on how to operate the vehicle, which is expected to become Central Florida’s first autonomous shuttle this summer.
“As first responders, our knowledge and skills need to keep evolving with the automotive technology that people have access to now and in the future,” said Orlando Fire Chief Richard Wales. “We are very pleased to be participating in this training exercise and we look forward to learning the protocol for operating and addressing any situations with these vehicles should they be present at an incident.”
“The transportation industry is evolving dramatically right now, with more autonomous technology than ever making its way onto our roads,” said Joe Moye, Beep’s CEO. “Our commitment and responsibility for making sure people are moving around safely on our shuttles is our priority, and this training ensures that first responders are familiar with the vehicles and can confidently interact with them should the need arise.”
Beep has an exclusive dealer arrangement for the state of Florida, with autonomous vehicle manufacturer NAVYA, maker of the AUTONOM shuttle, which underpins Beep’s services. The electric shuttles are fully autonomous, driverless, and utilize advanced guidance and detection systems to interact in real time with their environment.
“NAVYA has a perfect safety record according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) Automated Driving Systems Voluntary Safety Self-Assessment (VSSA) Disclosure Index,” continued Moye. “Their advanced technology and focus on safety are why Beep chose NAVYA as a partner, and this training program is a further indication of our relentless focus on the safety of our vehicles and the passengers they transport.”
Currently, Beep and Lake Nona are pursuing approvals with NHTSA and the Department of Transportation (DOT) for proposed autonomous shuttle routes throughout Lake Nona. Lake Nona will start with two shuttles that can hold up to 15 people each and will travel on fixed routes within the community at speeds up to 16 mph. Each shuttle will have a dedicated attendant on board.
“We applaud Beep, NAVYA, and the Orlando Fire Department for taking the initiative to begin this training program and ensure our first responders are prepared to engage with latest autonomous technology,” said Juan Santos, Lake Nona’s VP of Brand Experience. “As we get closer to having the shuttles operational in Lake Nona this summer, we also plan to host additional informational events geared toward riders.”