October 18, 2017

Babcock Ranch adds cutting edge transportation

By: Vicki Parsons - IT

Eco-friendly town will have the nation’s first AV network

By Florida Weekly Staff | on October 11, 2017

self driving shuttle

Top: The self-driving shuttles will be running regular routes from Founder’s Square starting in November. Above: The initial route will run to model homes in the Lake Timber neighborhood from Woodlea Hall located at Founder’s Square.

A partnership announced this week puts Babcock Ranch on the cutting edge of sustainable transportation. Transdev, the global leader in multi-modal mobility solutions, will be rolling out the first autonomous shuttle network in North America at Babcock Ranch by the end of November.

The first residents will start moving into the eco-friendly, solar-powered town by the end of the year. The bikeable, walkable town sets aside 50 percent of its footprint for public green space and lakes. Founder’s Square, the northern anchor of the downtown district built around a 13-acre waterfront park, opened earlier this year. Multiple Transdev-operated autonomous shuttles will initially be deployed to transport visitors from Founder’s Square to model homes in the first neighborhood of Lake Timber. More destinations will be added as the town grows – with the long-range goal of bringing on-demand, Mobility as a Service options to the nearly 50,000 residents who will make their home in this eco-friendly town of 19,500 homes and six million square feet of commercial space.

babcock ranch home

Babcock Ranch developer Kitson & Partners and Transdev share a vision for the future of mobility that aims to reduce or eliminate the reliance on vehicle ownership and use while lowering the environmental impact of transit through sustainable alternatives. Babcock Ranch will serve as a living laboratory on the development of the mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) platform, with car-sharing, bike-sharing, autonomous shuttles and pods, and charter transit all planned for future phases of the mobility plan. “This is a game changer. It’s everything a transit company could hope for, basically starting with a blank canvas and creating a network—from scratch—and managing the mobility ecosystem with all of the innovative tools we’ve developed,” said Dick Alexander, Executive Vice President of Business Development for Transdev. “As the community grows, the mobility choices will grow with it. Notably, we will have unprecedented access to MaaS data that will help shape how this vital service is implemented in other cities and communities across the country and world.”

“We recognize that progress comes in increments,” said Syd Kitson, Chairman and CEO of Kitson & Partners. “Americans are not going to go from one car for every driver to no cars for every household overnight. We start by making cars just one of many options for getting around town. When people can walk, bike, catch a shuttle, use their handheld device to summon an on-demand autonomous vehicle, or utilize a shared vehicle service for trips offsite, they will quickly realize they don’t really need their own car.”

For Transdev, the announcement is the culmination of rapid autonomous vehicle innovation backed by key industry partnerships that have helped the company emerge as an early leader in all aspects of autonomous operations.