Port St. Lucie, Fla., area first responders, fire fighters, and law enforcement officials are better prepared for handling self-driving shuttles after completing hands-on training at the Tradition Master Planned Development.
Mattamy Homes, along with autonomous mobility solutions provider Beep, hosted a day-long training session. Both Mattamy and Beep are launching two autonomous shuttle routes in Dec. 2020 to provide safer and more eco-friendly transportation alternatives to service the Tradition Town Square, Manderlie residential community, and The Landing retail center.
“It is important to allow for first responders to have a chance to work with these vehicles,” said Dan Grosswald, Mattamy president of Southeast Florida division. “Our number one priority is the safety and wellbeing of the homeowners in Tradition. We want to modernize the transportation and mobilization throughout the community by providing a safe and secure option to our residents, and we are confident in our precautions leading up to the launch of these shuttle routes.”
Participants from local and regional agencies experienced firsthand how to respond to scenarios involving the autonomous vehicles such as identifying and disabling the onboard batteries, accessing passengers in the vehicle, and vehicle immobilization.
“I think all first responders know this technology is coming. It’s been part of discussions we’ve had for years now about autonomous vehicles,” said John Bolduc, Port St. Lucie chief of police. “It’s exciting we're one of the first communities to get to try it. 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.”
Beep was founded by an experienced team of fleet managers and technology entrepreneurs, deploying shuttles in planned communities and low-speed environments across the public and private sector. The company has a perfect safety record with the largest and longest running single site AV shuttle fleet in the United States, located in Lake Nona, Fla., a 17 square-mile planned development in Orlando. First responder training has become an integral part of Beep’s larger mission to educate the public and enable the advancement of autonomous technology solutions nation-wide.
“Our first responder training program is just one important example where safety is always at the forefront of our mission. Safety is centric to every aspect of our process from the planning of routes, to deployment and operation of autonomous vehicles in communities,” said Joe Moye, Beep CEO. “Making sure police and fire departments are educated on the vehicle, how it works, and where its operating provides the level of knowledge and familiarity needed to respond effectively if called upon.”