Tag Archives: AV

Parking and the Autonomous Future

Autonomous Vehincles self drivingBy Josh Naramore

There has been a tremendous amount of media attention the last few years offering prognostications and insight into a future where autonomous vehicles are the norm. For the City of Grand Rapids, Mich., the future has merged with the present.

In July 2019, the city with partners launched the Grand Rapids Autonomous Vehicle Initiative (AVGR). AVGR is a collaborative, public-private effort to test the readiness of Grand Rapids for self-driving vehicles.

Through the testing of autonomous shuttles, the partnership aims to create more livable cities, attract next-generation innovation and job creators, and place Grand Rapids at the forefront of testing technology in the real world. The partnership has committed to engage the public, explore ridership trends, innovate accessibility for individuals with disabilities, and study impacts to the built environment. Understanding how autonomous mobility will operate in our world and how people will use or adapt to autonomous mobility is essential to making these systems accessible to people of all backgrounds and abilities. Parking and mobility professionals need to prepare for what the future holds and plan to manage it accordingly.

A future in which autonomous vehicles are the norm requires concerted effort on the part of key stakeholders—both in the public and private sector—to develop vehicles, infrastructure, and operational domain sooner rather than later. As the next wave of mobility emerges, it is vital that Grand Rapids stays on the forefront of learning and understanding how new technologies shape and cultivate consumer behavior.

Josh Naramore is director of Mobile GR & Parking Services for the City of Grand Rapids, Mich. He will present on this topic at the 2020 IPMI Virtual Parking & Mobility Conference & Expo; click here for details and to register.


Member News: JTA, Beep & NAVYA Autonomous Shuttles Help Transport COVID-19 Tests Collected at Mayo Clinic Drive-Thru Site in Jacksonville

The Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA), Beep Inc. and NAVYA partner with Mayo Clinic to safely transport COVID-19 samples on their Jacksonville Campus

JACKSONVILLE, (APRIL 2, 2020) – For the first time in the United States, autonomous AV Mayo Jeep COVID 19 support News 040220vehicles are being used to transport medical supplies and COVID-19 tests at Mayo Clinic in Florida.

At a time when healthcare resources and personnel are stretched thin, the Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA) has partnered with Beep and NAVYA to use autonomous vehicles to facilitate the safe transport of COVID-19 tests collected at a drive-thru testing location at Mayo Clinic in Florida.

“This deployment is a historic moment for the Jacksonville Transportation Authority,” said JTA Chief Executive Officer Nathaniel P. Ford Sr.  “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.”

On Monday, March 30, 2020, up to four autonomous vehicles began operating along an initial route, in full autonomous mode without attendants or other people onboard, to transport COVID-19 tests from a drive-thru testing site to a processing laboratory on Mayo Clinic campus.  The COVID-19 test samples are placed in secure containers prior to Mayo Clinic healthcare professionals loading the samples onto the shuttle.

“During a time of rapid change and uncertainty, the ability to think innovatively alongside the Jacksonville Transportation Authority, NAVYA, and Beep during the pandemic has strengthened all of our teams through community collaboration,” said Kent Thielen, M.D., CEO, Mayo Clinic in Florida. “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.”

The JTA, Beep, NAVYA and Bestmile teams partnered to create, test and deploy the routes for the autonomous vehicles at Mayo Clinic in Florida to address the fluid developments of the COVID-19 pandemic. The routes are isolated from pedestrians, traffic and staff. Beep, Mayo Clinic and the JTA will closely monitor the service from a mobile command center to maintain safe operation.

“Mayo Clinic is known as a leader in innovation and technology for providing world-class healthcare services to their patients in so many important areas of medicine,” said Joe Moye, CEO, Beep, Inc. “It is both humbling and exciting to partner with them in bringing this innovative solution to support such a critical challenge facing our country. We are equally as proud to work with our partners at the JTA, NAVYA and Bestmile, a fleet orchestration and optimization software company, in making this happen and doing our part to support this important cause.”

Beep, an autonomous shuttle fleet service provider, transported the shuttles through Eagle Express Inc. from Lake Nona, Florida, an innovation hub 150 miles away where the company is headquartered in Orlando, Florida. An additional shuttle is being utilized from the JTA’s Ultimate Urban Circulator (U2C) program. The JTA has actively tested AV technology since 2017 to prepare for a conversion and expansion of its Skyway automated people mover in Downtown Jacksonville into a network powered by autonomous vehicles.

“The opportunity to work together with these organizations in an effort to provide a dedicated COVID-19 testing solution represents our goal as a company, and that’s to create a more accessible solution in the moments that matter, whether that be crisis, shortage in manpower and resources, or other areas we can provide aid in,” said Étienne Hermite, CEO of NAVYA.

The use of the autonomous vehicles to safely transport and handle the COVID-19 samples is another example how these vehicles can be repurposed in times of need. #


Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit organization committed to innovation in clinical practice, education and research, and providing compassion, expertise and answers to everyone who needs healing. Visit the Mayo Clinic News Network for additional Mayo Clinic news and An Inside Look at Mayo Clinic for more information about Mayo.

Tia R. Ford
Mayo Clinic Jacksonville
(904) 953-1419


Beep, Inc. (“Beep”) founded by experienced fleet managers and technology entrepreneurs, offers the next generation of transportation services for autonomous passenger mobility to fleet owners and operators in low speed environments?across the public and private sector, including transportation hubs, medical and university campuses,?residential communities, town centers, and more. Beep’s operations are headquartered in Lake Nona, Orlando. www.go-beep.com .

Erica Olson
Beep Inc./Merit Mile
(763) 458-4435

ABOUT Jacksonville Transportation Authority:

The Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA) is an independent agency of the state of Florida, serving Duval County, with multi-modal responsibilities. The JTA designs and constructs bridges and highways and provides varied mass transit services. These include express and regular bus service, monorail, ferry and on-demand services. The JTA serves the largest city in the continental U.S. in terms of landmass. An integrated transportation network is a critical element in any community to properly manage growth, provide mobility and offer a good quality of life. Learn more at  www.jtafla.com 

David Cawton II 
Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA)
(904) 239-7989


NAVYA is a top French name in autonomous driving systems. With over 280 employees in France (Paris and Lyon) and in the United States (Saline, Michigan), NAVYA is a leading specialist in the supply of autonomous driving systems for passenger and goods transport. Since 2015, NAVYA has been the first to market and put into service autonomous mobility solutions in cities and private sites across the globe. For more information: www.navya.tech/en

Travis Ockerman
NAVYA North America
(734) 787-0047

Mobility Services and Technology

How curb management is part of the smart city and mobility road map.

By Teresa Trussell, CAPP

AS A PARKING INDUSTRY VETERAN, I have been reading this magazine for approximately 1719-09 Mobility services years, and I must say I have never seen more excitement than at this moment over a single topic: curb management. As I read each article, I find myself thinking about the concept of the smart city and smart mobility and how these services relate to technology.

I cannot help but picture curb management as a waypoint on the road map, rather than the destination itself. Curbs did not suddenly just appear—we’ve all been backing into them for years while trying to par­allel park and hoping no one noticed—so why is it just now an issue? The answer is quite simple and takes us all back to our economics 101 class: supply and de­mand. A recent shift to urban and alternative transpor­tation methods as well as the proliferation of smart­phones as a connected resource have resulted in com­peting needs for the curb areas, which can no longer be considered as only parking (or no parking) zones, loading and unloading areas, and utility ­agency-use regions. This shift has pushed cities and parking oper­ations into rethinking their transportation and parking models with a desire to create a dynamic downtown region that’s built around the smart city and smart mo­bility road map.

Defining the Terms

Before we dive into the smart city and mobility road map, it is important to define what smart city and smart mobility means. The first time I read this phrase I thought to myself, “What, were we a dumb city be­fore?” My answer was yes—in a sense!
Smart City

Data has provided cities and operators with the neces­sary information to make informed decisions that would have previously been made on assumptions or manual counts. Having access to this data in real time provides identifiable patterns that allow decision-makers to con­tinually adjust their transportation and parking process­es. This data is a result of technology implementations on both the transportation and parking home fronts.
The International Data Corporation defines a smart city as development based on smart initiatives combined to leverage technology investments across an entire city with common platforms increasing efficiency, data being shared across systems, and IT investments tied to smart missions. A common goal shared from city to city is to improve the lives of its cit­izens and visitors. By combining this common goal and the concept of data, the smart city uses technology to connect various components across the city to derive data and improve the lives of its citizens and visitors.

Smart Mobility

This concept is a new way (or perhaps a return to a former way) of thinking about how we get from point A to point B with an emphasis on moving people rath­er than cars, zero emissions, and a cleaner, safer, and more efficient urban district. These modes of trans­portation include scooters, bicycles, buses, light rail trains, subways, streetcars, taxis, autonomous vehicles, electric vehicles, walking, pedicabs, and ride-share vehicles. Smart mobility is often designed around five key principles:

  • Safety: Reduction of injuries and fatalities and an urban environment that is safely walkable.
  • Clean Technology: Transportation modes focused on zero-emissions.
  • Integration: Connecting the dots of transportation modes from door-to-door with route planning using technology as well as connections with city resources outside of parking and transportation needs.
  • Efficiency: Moving people to their destinations with minimal disruption.
  • Flexibility: Consumers have options regarding modes of transportation that suit their individual needs and preferences.

The link between smart cities and smart mobility is the direct connection between data gleaned from technology in support of the smart mobility concept and ultimately increasing usage of alternative trans­portation options and connect the dots for consumers. Through data usage, apps can allow consumers to plan routes that avoid traffic congestion, locate parking while avoiding congested parking areas, and use various modes of alternative transportation for the first and last miles. Likewise, operators can use this same data to improve safety within the city by identifying an issue be­fore it is problematic—such as changing traffic patterns.

Combined, we have a definition of a smart city using the smart mobility concept as a city that uses technology to connect various components across the city to derive data and improve the lives of its citizens and visitors by offering various forms of transpor­tation options focused on a cleaner, safer, and more efficient environment.

Creating the Smart City and Mobility Road Map
Our world is becoming more urbanized than ever before. By 2050, more than 60 percent of the world’s population is expected to live in cities, and public and private companies, as well as federal, state, and city governments, are getting involved to make the connec­tion between people and the city itself. This includes rethinking the former downtown model. Studies say parkers account for 30 percent of circling traffic. Park­ing apps are addressing this by directing people to avail­able areas. As the focus on smart mobility increases, a shift in the parking model must also occur. Limited land access requires parking outside city regions with a dependency on the first and last mile revolving around smart mobility—or mobility-as-a-service (MaaS).

The objective of MaaS is to provide an alternative to private vehicle use while reducing traffic congestion in a way that is convenient, sustainable, and a cheaper option to traditional transport. When considering the way in which this transforms the downtown districts, a direct competition is created between the increasing city population and the alternative transportation modes, which creates a safety concern in which pedes­trians, bicyclists, autonomous vehicles, and ride-share vehicles compete with the single-occupancy vehicle. The resulting model is to focus the urban area around the smart mobility concept.

Many operations are creating a set of guiding prin­ciples for emerging mobility services and technologies to provide a consistent policy framework of evaluating new mobility services to ensure they align with current city goals as well as assist in shaping future areas of studies, policies, and programs, creating a smart city and smart mobility road map. This is redefining the way our cities will be developed in the future

Components of the Map
The smart city and smart mobility road map are made up of:

  • Mobile Apps: Provide immediate access to data and communication channels, allowing people to effi­ciently conduct business with less interruptions. For example, locate a parking spot while avoiding traffic jams; identify the nearest bus stop, bicycle, or scooter rental; or catch a streetcar while reducing circling traffic patterns.
  • Data and Technology: Using mobile applications and technology advancements, parking operations suddenly have access to large amounts of data that were previously unavailable. This data provides in­sight regarding high-congestion areas and the ability to create a pricing model designed to encourage tran­sit use through proper space utilization, as well as cre­ate a basis for the smart city and mobility platform.
  • Transportation Alternatives (First and Last Mile): Decrease traffic congestion within urban ar­eas with a transportation focus. Mobile apps provide consumers with the ability to park farther away from their intended destination followed by alternative transportation option assessments via their smart­phones. This is an invaluable solution to the issue of limited land access and perceptions of parking shortages.
  • Right-sized Parking: Parking operations are con­sistently challenged while balancing the parking supply and demand equation. Parking planning must meet the goals of the city or operation to include events, but planning for busy times often leaves an excess of parking during standard periods. To right-size parking, data is essential. This is a re­sult of transportation and mobile applications and space-counting technology. Traffic and pedestrian patterns are the key to understanding where parking is needed, how it can be relocated, and where trans­portation modes can be implemented.
  • Land Use and Infrastructure: Through data analysis, efficient land use is identified, promoting a positive financial impact on the city or opera­tion’s infrastructure investment planning as future technologies are considered. Autonomous vehicles, ­electric-vehicle charging stations, and shared-­mobility services are changing the way we think about city parking garage use. Most of these items are currently managed along curbs or ad-hoc areas with personal vehicles occupying large structures in convenient areas. With the model shift, most person­al vehicles will be expected to park in exterior areas while people use smart mobility options to reach the urban area. Garages will consist of items previously managed along curbs, creating smart mobility hubs.
  • Curb Management: As we move shared mobility services away from our curbs, we open the curb areas for a new use that is centered around the smart mo­bility concept while creating a safe environment for transit and pedestrians and freeing space for busi­ness deliveries. While new parking structures can be built, curb availability is limited. Limits on how the curb is used must be addressed as we restructure the transportation and parking environments.
  • Bicycle and Scooter Valet Services: As we ask consumers to consider alternative transportation methods, the use of bicycles and scooters has in­creased dramatically. This has also resulted in large quantities of bicycles and scooters being left haphaz­ardly on sidewalks and in messy clusters. Operators, faced with the need for a quick, easy, and convenient return of these shared items, created the concept of a bicycle and scooter valet service, ideally housed in the mobility hubs mentioned above. Consumers simply drop the bicycle or scooter off to the attendant who takes care of putting it away while the consumer continues about his business. Additionally, a bike service area is available for riders who need to repair a tire or service their bike.
  • Electric and Autonomous Vehicles: With a focus on zero emissions, smart cities will undoubtedly use shared, electric, autonomous vehicles to transport people from one point to another. Consumers will simply call for a ride using their phones, much as we do when using services such as Lyft and Uber. Ad­ditionally, with the anticipated increase in electric vehicle use, charging stations will be provided in the mobility hubs where single occupancy, gas-powered vehicles parked.

The road map will consistently change as technol­ogy advancements occur and as human beings alter their behavior and environmental considerations. However, a foundation for the smart city and mobility road map is certainly identifiable, and the development of mobile applications and smartphone/smartwatch services geared toward the transportation and parking industry is a driving factor that has propelled this new vision. The concept of curb management is only a por­tion of the smart city and smart mobility road map—a part that is dependent on other portions for success in the present as well as in the future.

TERESA TRUSSELL, CAPP, is Midwest sales director of PayByPhone. She can be reached at ttrussell@paybyphone.com.



A Legal Framework for AV Implementation: Local Government

By Michael J. Ash, Esq., CRE

THE LAST MILE IN TRANSPORTATION will also be the most important in the implemen­tation of autonomous vehicles (AVs). While AV applications will have their place on highways, the most noticeable and profound effects AVs will bring to daily life will oc­cur in urban areas. Local governments and regulators will have the ability to reshape the built environment to accommodate AVs and changes to our transportation, parking, and mobility demands. Local governments should therefore be receptive to the needs of their constituents and plan for the integration of AVs into daily life.

This article is third in a four-part series on the legal challenges presented by emerging technologies. Part 4 in the series will examine challenges in the private sector with the regulation of autonomous vehicles. To read the first two articles, visit parking-mobility. org/resource­center and search “AV framework.”

Local governments have the best opportunity to be proactive in shaping how AVs define the future of trans­portation, parking, and mobility. The new federal guid­ance for automated vehicles published by the U.S. De­partment of Transportation, “Preparing for the Future of Transportation: Automated Vehicles 3.0,” outlines the best practices for local governments for AV deployment in five recommendations.

These are:

1. Facilitate safe testing and operation of automated vehicles on local streets. While many of the regu­latory constraints for real-world testing of AVs will come from state legislatures, local governments will need to implement the regulations in diverse and challenging urban settings. Local streets will provide challenges to AVs, including intersections, pedestri­ans, and road congestion. The built environment in urban areas should adapt to accommodate the test­ing of AVs for safe deployment. Local governments can best regulate their streets to include specific routes for AV testing in safe locations and during specific hours of operation.

2.Understand the near-term opportunities that au­tomation may provide. Municipal governments have an opportunity to be the early adaptors to AV technology through the deployment of municipal vehicle fleets. Current safety technology developed in AVs can be integrated in municipal vehicles, such as street sweepers and snowplows, for real-world testing with a driver still available to oversee the ve­hicle operation. Cities are looking to AVs for the next generation of public transportation. AVs are ideal for a closed-loop jitney service, offering low-speed transportation around a specific route. The ability of AVs to circulate throughout a downtown reduces the need for single-occupant taxi service by offering more efficient and assorted public transportation options. San Francisco, Calif., recently announced a plan to integrate AV public transportation in a new planned development to reduce the reliance on indi­vidual automobile ownership required to reach con­ventional modes of public transportation.

3.Consider how land use, including curb space, will be affected. Cities will need to reimagine how the curb is used in daily life. On-street parking will need to make way for AV queuing aisles for ride-hailing ser­vices and public transportation. Land use and devel­opment patterns may shift to integrate access to AV routes. As the reliance on individual vehicle owner­ship declines, parking requirements for land uses will also decline. Surface parking lots in downtown urban areas will become prime development opportunities as long-term parking demand declines. Other real estate development opportunities may be available to repurpose structured parking garages as AV stor­age, maintenance, and charging facilities are located outside prime city centers. Rather than proximity to densely populated areas, AV operators’ real estate needs will be based on ride-hailing demand and reliable sources of charging power. Local municipal zoning should begin to account for the shift in de­mand of AV vehicles. Zoning criteria should include current ride-hailing trends to analyze how parking demands may change in the future.

Parking and mobility professionals are encouraged to review AV 3.0 in full available for download at https:// www.transportation.gov/sites/dot.gov/files/docs/policy-initiatives/automated-vehicles/320711/preparing­future-transportation-automated-vehicle-30.pdf.
mand of AV vehicles. Zoning criteria should include current ride-hailing trends to analyze how parking demands may change in the future.

4.Consider the potential for increased congestion and how it might be managed. The deployment of AV transportation will be undermined if local reg­ulators do not prevent traffic and congestion. The potential speed and convenience of AVs will be lost if urban centers become congested with too many vehicles. Attempts to regulate the flow of AV traffic will be crucial in the early stages of deployment during the transition from driver-operated vehicles to AVs. Local governments should study traffic patterns and routes from ride-hailing services to plan better transportation efficiencies. The most efficient routes will combine speed of travel and the ability for ride-sharing, allowing more riders to mobilize in fewer AVs and do so faster. It is conceiv­able that as on-street parking is eliminated, there will be new travel lanes for AVs through densely populated areas.

5.Engage with citizens. Finally, the best guidance for local governments is to engage with citizens. Local governments are ideally suited to understand the needs and demands of their constituents and en­sure the deployment of AV technology is consistent with the patterns and trends of the community. By tailoring AV deployment to the concerns of their citizens, local governments can ease the transition from driver-operated vehicles to AVs.

Read the article here.

MICHAEL J. ASH, Esq., CRE, is partner with Carlin & Ward. He can be reached at michael.ash@carlinward.com.