Mass Transit - 30

Autonomous Vehicles
Rosa
Parks

Sports &
Entertainment
District

Hemming
Park
Convention
Center

Central
Jefferson

Jacksonville
Landing
Operations &
Maintenance
Center

Riverplace
San Marco

THE U2C program
will convert the
existing Skyway
infrastructure and
add neighborhood
expansions
through groundlevel connections
to create a new
10-mile system.

" The test

track really
afforded us
the ability to
upgrade our
skillsets, our
understanding
of these
technologies,
so that we
were on an
equal playing
field with
the OEMs. "

- NAT FORD,
JTA CEO

30 |

With these working partnerships and protocols
in place, the authority is now testing its sixth vehicle across three platforms, with the fourth vehicle
on a seventh platform planned to begin testing in
the coming month. In addition to flushing out AV
parameters, Schmidt notes the testing program also
contributes to the authority's goal of being vehicle
agnostic, which is seen as a risk mitigation step to
prevent the agency from " being confined into any
particular box of saying we will run a single platform
of a vehicle. " If a vehicle is to be tested by JTA, it
must be able to communicate with the other vehicles.
As noted, JTA has leased six vehicles across three
platforms for testing, which includes two versions of
EasyMile's vehicle, three versions of NAVYA's vehicles and the Olli 2.0 shuttle from Local Motors. JTA
purchased its seventh vehicle for testing, which is a
bit different from the previous AVs because it is a full
Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards-compliant,
all-electric paratransit van retrofitted with Perrone
Robotics' software stack and automation system.

Socialization and Education

While testing the AV technology is one aspect of the
U2C Program, another equally as important aspect
is the socialization of the AVs and the education
surrounding it. For JTA, this has come to fruition
in several ways, stemming from local partnerships,
establishing an AV curriculum with local colleges
for JTA employees and college students and implementing the technology in real-world applications.
For starters, JTA used the test track near the stadium
to socialize the technology with the public, elected
officials, business leaders, along with hosting field
trips for students to ride the vehicles and get familiarized with the AV technology.
But familiarization goes beyond sitting in the vehicles. Education is necessary too, especially since the

Mass Transit | MassTransitmag.com | NOVEMBER 2020

Kings
Avenue

U2C Program encompasses how JTA continues to
innovate and automate and not just build the Ultimate
Urban Circulator. This means ensuring employees
have the proper skill set as the authority transitions to
autonomy. To do this, JTA started the JTA University
and began an internal training program.
" We are starting to educate our employees that
their skill sets need to change over time, and we, as
the JTA, are committed to developing their skills, "
Ford said.
Continuing with education efforts, JTA partnered
with Florida State College at Jacksonville (FSCJ) to
set up a curriculum where JTA will teach students
about AV technology, while allowing the employees to upgrade their skills with this technology. In
addition to the curriculum, FSCJ's Cecil Field Campus will be used as the new test track (the site by
the stadium is now under construction and can no
longer be used), where JTA will continue its testing
program with the NAVYA and Ollie 2.0 vehicles.
As JTA builds upon its partnership with FSCJ, another part of the social strategy, called the Agile Plan,
will be rolled out to deploy AVs on closed campuses,
such as at FSCJ and the Mayo Clinic. This allows AVs
to interact with vehicles and pedestrians and JTA
to get a deeper understanding of the technology.
And finally, with familiarization and education
continuing, JTA was able to rollout a real-world application during the COVID-19 pandemic thanks in part
to the initial conversations the authority was already
having with Mayo Clinic regarding the Agile Plan.
Ford explains JTA and Mayo Clinic were exploring
moving essential personnel across the expansive
campus to parking facilities, as well as transporting
supplies, such as meals and linens. Because of this,
JTA was able to partner with NAVYA, Beep and Mayo
Clinic to transport COVID-19 test samples using AV
shuttles. Schmidt says this was the first time in the


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Mass Transit

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Mass Transit

Ad Index
Editor's Notebook: What's Next? Better Mobility
People & Places
New Ransomware Attacks Pose Costly Threat to Transit Agencies
2020 Transit Safety and Security Report
Planning the Right Zero-Emission Fleet Conversion from the Beginning
AVs Pave the Way to Future Mobility
A New Age for Streetcars
Products: In Focus - Shelters, Stops & Stations
Best Practices: Creating a Safer, More Secure Ride on Metro Transit in the St. Louis Region
Mass Transit - 1
Mass Transit - 2
Mass Transit - 3
Mass Transit - 4
Mass Transit - 5
Mass Transit - Ad Index
Mass Transit - 7
Mass Transit - Editor's Notebook: What's Next? Better Mobility
Mass Transit - 9
Mass Transit - People & Places
Mass Transit - 11
Mass Transit - 12
Mass Transit - 13
Mass Transit - New Ransomware Attacks Pose Costly Threat to Transit Agencies
Mass Transit - 15
Mass Transit - 16
Mass Transit - 17
Mass Transit - 18
Mass Transit - 19
Mass Transit - 2020 Transit Safety and Security Report
Mass Transit - 21
Mass Transit - 22
Mass Transit - 23
Mass Transit - Planning the Right Zero-Emission Fleet Conversion from the Beginning
Mass Transit - 25
Mass Transit - 26
Mass Transit - 27
Mass Transit - AVs Pave the Way to Future Mobility
Mass Transit - 29
Mass Transit - 30
Mass Transit - 31
Mass Transit - A New Age for Streetcars
Mass Transit - 33
Mass Transit - 34
Mass Transit - 35
Mass Transit - 36
Mass Transit - 37
Mass Transit - Products: In Focus - Shelters, Stops & Stations
Mass Transit - 39
Mass Transit - 40
Mass Transit - 41
Mass Transit - Best Practices: Creating a Safer, More Secure Ride on Metro Transit in the St. Louis Region
Mass Transit - 43
Mass Transit - 44
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