Fla.’s Hillsborough Transit Authority (HART) launched a new route for HART SMART AV, Tampa Bay's first, fully electric autonomous vehicle.
The free shuttle, operated by HART and BEEP Inc., an Orlando-based autonomous solutions provider, will now operate along the Tampa Riverwalk, following a looping route on City of Tampa streets, originating at Armature Works in Tampa Heights, running southbound near the Tampa Riverwalk, to the Barrymore Hotel and the David A. Straz Center for the Performing Arts.
HART SMART AV will serve riders at three stops, with the new pilot service consisting of 2 NAVYA autonomous shuttles and operating until Jan. 1, 2022.
The shuttle can travel up to 15 mph in autonomous mode while along the route and has varying speeds based on the environment such as crosswalks, approaching stop signs or navigating intersections.
"HART is proud to be the regional leader in a new era of transportation innovation in Tampa Bay," said Adelee Le Grand, HART CEO. "We are looking at HART SMART AV to provide valuable data and insight to assist decision-making in the delivery of transit service in the future."
The first HART SMART AV first pilot route along the Marion Transitway allowed the agency and Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) to collect baseline data for the technology, which operated alongside HART fixed-route buses, over a railroad crossing, and through traffic lights. The additional route allows local and state agencies to test the technology in a different environment which includes movement alongside the public and connecting activity centers on City of Tampa streets.
HART SMART AV is funded by the Florida Department of Transportation and is operated in partnership between BEEP Inc. and HART.