National Park Service to launch two autonomous shuttle pilot projects in the US

The National Park Service in the US is launching two autonomous shuttle pilot projects in Yellowstone National Park and Wright Brothers National Memorial.

Yellowstone Autonomous Shuttle Trial

Earlier this week two Beep Inc. shuttles arrived at the park. Over the next month teams will begin training, mapping, and preparing for the launch of the shuttle service planned for May 24, 2021.

Yellowstone shuttles
Image via Yellowstone National Park

The low-speed, electric, autonomous vehicle (AV) shuttle will be used to transports visitors on two different routes during the trial. The data from the program will be used to determine how the technology can be used in national parks in the future.


Wright Brothers National Memorial Autonomous Shuttle Trial

A separate trial of an autonomous shuttle has already begun at Wright Brothers National Memorial in North Carolina. Known as the Connected Autonomous Shuttle Supporting Innovation (CASSI), the pilot project will take place over the next three months.

The autonomous shuttle will ferry visitors between two landmarks at the site, the museum and the First Flight bronze sculpture.

NCDOT shuttle
Image via NCDOT

For safety, a trained customer service operator will ride in the shuttle at both national parks.

Similar to the trial at Yellowstone, CASSI’s pilot program will collect information including the numbers of passengers, trips, the shuttle’s battery usage, and the number of times the operator had to take control of the vehicle.

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