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JTA and Balfour Beatty Unveil Autonomous Innovation Center in LaVilla

The Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA) has teamed up with the Balfour Beatty Vision 2 Reality (V2R) team, including autonomous mobility leader Beep, to unveil the Autonomous Innovation Center (AIC) in LaVilla, Jacksonville, Florida.

This state-of-the-art facility will act as the central hub for a sophisticated command-and-control center, equipped to store, service, monitor, and maintain Jacksonville’s electric, autonomous transportation system.

The AIC is a critical element of the initial phase of JTA’s Ultimate Urban Circulator (U2C) program, specifically the Bay Street Innovation Corridor (BSIC). This initiative aims to upgrade and expand transportation options in Downtown Jacksonville by integrating autonomous vehicles into the JTA network.

Featuring an open terrace, the AIC will offer guided tours and educational experiences, allowing visitors to observe autonomous vehicles (AVs) as they arrive and depart. Additionally, in collaboration with LaVilla Heritage Trail & Gateways, an area outside the secure perimeter along Bay Street will host food trucks, enriching the experience for both residents and visitors.

Balfour Beatty, leading the V2R team, will build the two-story AIC on an existing parking lot with a secure perimeter. The top floor will house the command-and-control center, while the ground floor will include maintenance bays for vehicle servicing and covered AV parking with charging stations.

Dave Campbell, Balfour Beatty’s operations director in Florida, stated, “With our expertise in design-build projects, Balfour Beatty will lead the V2R team in delivering the state-of-the-art AIC, which is the gateway to making this transformative transportation solution a reality. We look forward to collaborating with our industry partners, our client, and the community to provide a modernized, innovative, and sustainable transit system in LaVilla.”

Beep, a prominent provider of shared autonomous mobility solutions, is offering crucial insights for the design of the AIC and its command-and-control center. Their expertise aims to ensure the JTA and community incorporate essential features related to safety, sustainability, and efficiency.

“The launch of the AIC is a significant milestone for this industry-leading program and showcases how the JTA, Beep, and the entire U2C team are revolutionizing the integration and management of autonomous mobility networks in our communities,” remarked Beep CEO Joe Moye.

The full V2R team comprises Superior Construction Company Southeast, Beep, WGI, Inc., Urban SDK, Miller Electric, and Grayline.

JTA CEO Nat Ford commented,“Throughout this project, JTA has leveraged its partners’ experience and expertise, and this groundbreaking is a visible symbol of our collective, forward-thinking progress. Today, we are one step closer in realizing our shared goal of providing a passenger service that is sustainable and adaptable and places Jacksonville as a city at the forefront of modernization.”


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