An autonomous shuttle program has been launched at Yellowstone National Park in the USA. The TEDDY (The Electric Driverless Demonstration in Yellowstone) project, named in honor of Teddy Roosevelt, will enable the National Park Service (NPS) to test the feasibility and sustainability of autonomous mobility and better plan for the future of transportation.
TEDDY has been developed by Beep, a provider of multi-passenger, electric, autonomous mobility solutions in partnership with Local Motors, a leader in the design and manufacturing of autonomous vehicles, which will be providing services aboard its Olli vehicle – the world’s first 3D-printed autonomous vehicle.
“Beep is proud to have been selected by the National Park Service to provide transformative mobility at the country’s first national park,” says Joe Moye, Beep CEO. “Our safety-centric approach is a vital component in our planning, management and oversight of the operation to ensure we are providing visitors with a safe and sustainable mode of transport while enjoying the park. Our team spent several weeks onsite leading up to the start of the program conducting rigorous route testing, as well as training first responders and frontline workers in order to protect and preserve all that Yellowstone has to offer.”
Beep provided the full turnkey solution for the project by planning, managing and deploying with the NPS. Up to August 31, Beep will enable two routes, seven days a week at Yellowstone, collecting vital information such as ridership, route optimization and overall vehicle operations. Learnings and data gathered will help inform potential future deployments in national parks across the country.
TEDDY will be navigating through the Canyon Village area of Yellowstone National Park through the peak summer season, with the Lodge Route operating from June 9 to July 12 and Campground Route from July 14 to August 31. Both routes will deliver a safe, unique rider experience.
Olli will continuously analyze the road 360-degrees around the vehicle using high-definition sensors before deciding how to safely proceed given the wildlife, pedestrians and vehicles nearby. Beep will ensure passenger safety by providing continuous oversight through its Beep Command Center.
“The project at Canyon Village is a testament to the strong partnership between Local Motors and Beep to deploy electric autonomous vehicles,” said Vikrant Aggarwal, Local Motors President. “Olli will provide park visitors with a truly unique rider experience. Our 3D-printed vehicle structure is made from recyclable materials, and the vehicle utilizes a fully electric drive train, reflecting our commitment to making mobility more sustainable. We are excited to be bringing this technology to the NPS.”