The Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA), alongside Balfour Beatty’s Vision 2 Reality (V2R) team and Beep, Inc., has announced it has broken ground its brand new Autonomous Innovation Centre (AIC) at LaVilla.

The AIC, which is set to become a crucial centre for the storage, service, monitoring and maintenance of Jacksonville’s electric, autonomous mobility system, is being developed as part of the Bay Street Innovation Corridor (BSIC), the largest public sector autonomous shuttle project in the US aiming to introduce autonomous shuttles into the Downtown Jacksonville area.

Since 2017, JTA’s Automation & Innovation Division has tested seven AVs with four AV platforms

The BSIC forms part of Phase 1 of the Ultimate Urban Circulator (U2C) project, an initiative to modernise travel options within the JTA’s transport network, and is supported by a 12.5 million USD grant from the US Department of Transportation, as well as funding from the Florida Department of Transportation, North Florida Transportation Planning Organization and local funds.

The new AIC is set to be built on an existing car park with a secure perimeter, with the top floor of the two-storied facility serving as a command-and-control centre. The first floor will feature maintenance bays for servicing, as well as covered AV parking fully equipped with charging stations.

JTA CEO Nat Ford, said:

The groundbreaking of the AIC is a culmination of hard work to provide the City of Jacksonville with enhanced connectivity through autonomous mobility at-scale.

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 transportation network that is sustainable, adaptable and places Jacksonville as a city at the forefront of AV mobility.

The building will also include an open terrace, allowing for guided tours and showcase talks.

Teams working alongside Balfour Beatty’s V2R group include Superior Construction Company Southeast, Beep, WGI, Inc., Urban SDK, Miller Electric, and Grayline.

Dave Campbell, Balfour Beatty Operations Director in Florida, said:

Balfour Beatty has assembled a team of experts and partners with specialized capabilities to support JTA’s U2C program components.

With our expertise in design-build projects, Balfour Beatty will lead the V2R team in successfully delivering the state-of-the-art AIC which is the gateway to making this transformative transportation solution a reality. We look forward to working with our industry partners, our client and the community in providing a modernized, innovative and sustainable transit system in LaVilla.

 

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