We are living in unprecedented times amidst the Coronavirus pandemic and while humans are being fiercely challenged, technology has been stepping in to help. For the first time in the U.S., autonomous vehicles are reportedly being used to transport medical supplies and COVID-19 tests at Mayo Clinic in Florida.
The Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA) partnered with Beep and NAVYA to test and deploy the routes and put these super-helpful autonomous vehicles in motion. On Monday, March 30, 2020, four autonomous vehicles hit the road and made history.
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The shuttles began operating along an initial route in full autonomous mode – sans attendants or other people onboard. It’s also important to note that the route is also isolated from pedestrians, traffic and staff.
According to the Mayo Clinic, the shuttles transported COVID-19 tests from a drive-thru testing site to a processing laboratory on Mayo Clinic’s campus. The COVID-19 test samples are placed in secure containers prior to Mayo Clinic healthcare professionals loading the samples onto the shuttle.