100+ Autonomous Vehicles in Florida
Updated: Jul 30, 2018
Did you know that Jacksonville, Florida is poised to become the nation’s leader in public-sector autonomous vehicle shuttles?
Donna Deegan on Making Moves interviews Matt Chang about the plans for autonomous travel that the Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA) has under way.
Summary of “Making Moves April 2018”
Jacksonville’s automated monorail system, known as the Skyway, has been in place in downtown Jacksonville for over 30 years now and JTA has decided it’s time to be on the front end of disruptive technology, in driver-less vehicles.
The “U2C” (Ultimate Urban Circulator) will replace the Skyway, but this is not just any replacement. The “U2C” is an autonomous vehicle that will have the capabilities to go beyond the skyway, using normal roads to travel to the Stadium, Riverside, and medical centers. The autonomous vehicle will have the luxury to travel on normal roads, keeping its reach to the city limitless, but will also be able to travel on the Skyway ramps and viaducts to avoid the traffic downtown. The vehicles are fully capable to travel on roads with traffic lights and other vehicles, but when traffic is bad will go up into the sky making travel through downtown Jacksonville that much quicker.
The initial deployment of AV technology, to replace and expand the Skyway, will consist of 100 or more AV shuttles. The 100+ vehicle target will be achieved over 4 deployment cycles, called “Builds”. The Builds will keep technology refreshed, so early investment in technology doesn’t lead to obsolescence. The goal is to make transportation safe, more efficient and convenient, and more accessible for all people.
Donna Deegan says that “Jacksonville is the epicenter of the transportation universe right now,” and she couldn’t be more right. Jacksonville is one of the first in North America to have one of these autonomous vehicles in service. Autonomous vehicles are where the world is headed, and Jacksonville is getting the head start.
To hear more from Matt Chang about how JTA is making moves check out the link to watch the interview: