Widespread deployment of autonomous transportation will take an ecosystem of education, with one of the most important factors addressing how public safety officials and emergency responders deal with incidents involving autonomous vehicles.
Beep, a Florida-based autonomous mobility company, recently conducted training with Florida first responders, fire fighters, and law enforcement officials on scenarios involving AVs, including identifying and disabling onboard batteries, accessing passengers in the vehicle, and vehicle immobilization.
The day-long training session, cohosted by homebuilder Mattamy Homes, convened in a master-planned community in Port Saint Lucie, Florida. Both Mattamy and Beep are launching two autonomous shuttle routes in December to serve the development and surrounding communities.
“I think all first responders know this technology is coming, it’s been part of discussions that we’ve had for years now about autonomous vehicles,” said John Bolduc, Port St. Lucie chief of police in a statement.
“This particular autonomous vehicle is new technology to the community so it's great to have the first responders trained, not only how the vehicle operates, but how would they go about interacting with the vehicle occupants safely off the vehicle and or disable the electrical system if needed.”
“Our first responder training program is just one important example where safety is always at the forefront of our mission,” said Joe Moye, Beep CEO. “Making sure police and fire departments are educated on the vehicle, how it works and where it’s operating provides the level of knowledge and familiarity needed to respond effectively if called upon.”
The two autonomous shuttle routes are part of Mattamy Homes’ plan to introduce a mobility network of almost 20 miles with experiential trailheads for shuttle riders, bicyclists, and pedestrians.
Beep claims the largest and longest running single site AV shuttle fleet in the U.S., located in Lake Nona, Fla., a 17 square-mile planned development in Orlando. In April, Beep became the first AV provider in the U.S. to transport medical supplies and COVID-19 tests at Mayo Clinic in Florida.