In collaboration with COAST Autonomous, researchers at the University of South Florida’s (USF) Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR) have begun their first ever autonomous vehicle trial featuring a COAST P-1 Shuttle.

The P-1 Shuttle is being demonstrated on the USF Tampa campus and is providing USF employees and students a free, driverless ride. The shuttle drives itself along the walkway between the Library and the Campus Recreation Center. The shuttle comfortably accommodates 8 seated and 4 standing, but with fewer seats could carry up to 20 passengers

Led by the CUTR at USF, this trial is the first of its kind on campus, leveraging a low-speed autonomous vehicle that is ideal for first and last mile transportation and can help increase pedestrianism and reduce CO2 emissions. The trial will last for one week, giving researchers the opportunity to gauge people’s reactions and attitudes towards these vehicles and showcasing how driverless vehicles can interact with pedestrians, cyclists and skateboarders in a very busy campus environment.

The COAST P-1 Shuttle is a bi-directional, self-driving vehicle that is designed to operate in pedestrian areas or in mixed traffic (up to 25 mph).  The P-1 Shuttle can travel at higher speeds on a dedicated lane. It can operate on a network of predefined routes or be called on demand via a smartphone app, in which case the best route would be determined by COAST’s mapping software.