Philadelphia Navy Yard begins autonomous, electric shuttle service

The Navy Yard’s AV shuttle can fit nine seated passengers and a wheelchair.

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The autonomous vehicle (AV) shuttle at Philadelphia's Navy Yard.

The autonomous vehicle (AV) shuttle at Philadelphia Navy Yard. (PIDC)

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The Philadelphia Navy Yard’s driverless shuttle launches operations Tuesday, aiming to reduce congestion and lower carbon emissions.

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the autonomous vehicle (AV) shuttle will bring passengers around the campus as part of a one-year pilot program with plans to expand if additional drivers are needed.

Public feedback will be gathered throughout the year for future consideration of the project.

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The fully electric shuttle is a retrofitted 2023 Ford e-Transit van with ADA accessibility that uses Perrone Robotics’ TONY (To Navigate You) technology, providing fully automated capabilities for operations in the Navy Yard.

Not including the operator, the AV shuttle can seat nine passengers plus a wheelchair, and the wheelchair ramp will be accessible from a standard roadside curb.

Initially, there will be four stops within the Navy Yard, located at:

  • Rouse Blvd & Intrepid Ave. (Courtyard by Marriott)
  • Broad St & Crescent Ave. (Gatehouse)
  • 15th St & Kitty Hawk Ave. (DiNic’s)
  • 15th & Flagship Ave. (URBN Campus/Shop 543)

The next phase of the project would extend trips down Broad Street to NRG Station, before looping back.

The shuttle service is a result of a partnership between the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC), Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC), Perrone Robotics, Drexel University and PennDOT. The DVRPC provided a $350,000 grant towards the project through its Travel Options Program.

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