In order to reduce the amount of hands touching COVID-19 tests and medical supplies, the Mayo Clinic in Florida is using autonomous vehicles for transportation.
The Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA) has partnered with Beep and Navya to use self-driving shuttles to transport COVID-19 tests collected at a drive-thru testing location at the Mayo Clinic.
"This development is a historic moment for the Jacksonville Transportation Authority," said Nathaniel P. Ford, Sr., CEO of Jacksonville Transportation Authority. "Along with our partners, Beep, NAVYA and Mayo Clinic, we are leveraging our learnings from three years of testing autonomous vehicles through our Ultimate Urban Circulator program. Our innovative team saw this as an opportunity to use technology to respond to this crisis in Northeast Florida and increase the safety of COVID-19 testing."
Four self-driving Navya shuttles are being used to move the medical supplies and coronavirus test samples and it is the first time autonomous vehicles are being used for this sort of task in the U.S., according to a report from Car and Driver.
Recently, Navya all-electric shuttles were in use in Peoria, Arizona, as part of a 60-day pilot program in partnership with Beep. The program was designed to not only offer users an alternative to public transportation, but to also learn about the future needs of transportation among the population. The shuttles are equipped with lidar, radar and video cameras and can support as many as 15 passengers. Other pilot projects have been undertaken in Las Vegas and Ann Arbor, Michigan.