• Aytekin Aydoğan


Updated: May 26, 2020

Autonomous shuttles are being used to move COVID-19 test samples around the Mayo Clinic campus in Florida.

Image: Mayo Clinic

At a time when health care resources and staff are stretched thin, the Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA) has partnered with Beep and NAVYA to use diligently working autonomous shuttles to safely transport COVID-19 tests collected at a drive-thru testing checkpoint to a processing laboratory for analysis at Mayo Clinic in Florida.

The first-in-the-country medical program, which started on March 30, involves 4 autonomous vehicles. Jacksonville Transportation Authority and self-driving startups Beep and Nayva are part of the larger project team.

Kent Thielen, CEO of Mayo Clinic says “We are grateful to JTA, Beep and NAVYA for their partnership in these challenging times.”

"Using artificial intelligence enables us to protect staff from exposure to this contagious virus by using cutting-edge autonomous vehicle technology and frees up staff time that can be dedicated to direct treatment and care for patients. We are grateful to JTA, Beep, and NAVYA for their partnership in these challenging times," says Kent Thielen, M.D., CEO of Mayo Clinic in Florida. "During a time of rapid change and uncertainty, the ability to think innovatively alongside the Jacksonville Transportation Authority, NAVYA, and Beep during the pandemic have strengthened all of our teams through community collaboration."

youTube: Mayo Clinic Network

How Autonomous Shuttles Works in Maya Clinic

Self-driving autonomous shuttles make 5 or 6 cycles every day on a route under 0.8 miles.

The Mayo Clinic shuttle process is straightforward and well-suited for autonomous transportation.

  • The testing of individuals for COVID-19 takes place.

  • Health workers place the test kits into a secure container.

  • They move them to within the autonomous shuttle.

  • The shuttle travels along a predetermined route from which pedestrians, traffic, and staff are banned.

  • The driverless shuttle is accompanied from behind at a safe distance by another vehicle.

  • A central mobile command center is staffed with individuals who monitor the process, ensuring that each step is without problems.

The source is Maya Clinic Network Website

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