Stating it will provide visitors a safe, innovative and eco-friendly transportation alternative, autonomous mobility-as-a-service provider, Beep, will deploy what it says are the first autonomous shuttles at Yellowstone National Park with the National Parks Service.

The pilot deployment program, which will take place in May, will test multi-passenger, electric automated vehicle platforms.

To plan, deploy and operate two autonomous shuttles in the Canyon Village, Beep will work with NPS Park Planning, Facilities and Lands Directorate, the Department of Transportation and Yellowstone National Park. Beep and the NPS will determine exact shuttle stops, route locations and distance.

A Yellowstone National Park press release noted the initiative is part of the Yellowstone Visitor Use Management Program. That program works on testing various pilot projects around the park to enhance the visitor experience.

During the deployment, Beep will provide services for the pilot including the autonomous vehicles, engineering, and mapping of the routes, complete operational, monitoring and management for regular oversight and to support ridership demand.

The program will use 100% electric autonomous shuttles that will have zero emissions. Beep said the deployment aligns with the park’s desire to improve visitor safety, access and experience.

To ensure safe and reliable operation, an onboard shuttle specialist, on-the-ground staff and Beep’s global command center will support and monitor the pilot.

Beep says its safety record is strong, noting it operates what it says is the largest and longest-running U.S. single site AV shuttle fleet, located in Lake Nona, Fla. That is a 17-square-mile planned development in Orlando.

Beep launched in September 2019 and says it has safely transported more than 16,000 passengers in its first year of operation on its initial route. That eliminated the equivalent of nearly 9,400 vehicle trips with carbon emissions that Beep says would have required 170 trees to reverse.

More than seven new routes and programs are now in production, and Beep says the safety and environmental impact is building. Beep says it is the first AV service provider currently participating in NHTSA’s AV TEST Initiative public portal that the U.S. Department of Transportation launched in September.  

The company says its processes and procedures onboard align with best practices for ridesharing and transit. Those include frequent cleaning procedures, modified seating capacity, onboard hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes.

“It’s an honor to be the first in the country to provide autonomous shuttles to the NPS and its visitors,” Beep chief executive officer Joe Moye said in a news release.

Moye continued, “Yellowstone’s Visitor Use Management Program aligns with Beep’s mission to provide alternative, sustainable, and innovative transportation solutions meant to transform and improve mobility for all. This demonstration will help assess how emerging technologies can enhance the visitor experience while making the roads safer and less congested for everyone.”