A man walked directly into the path of a bus in Lake Nona on Wednesday.
The 15-passenger self-driving shuttle came to a halt and let out a loud beep – preventing a collision and turning heads from the firefighters in attendance.
The demonstration was part of a training session meant to teach Orlando’s first repsonders how to handle emergency situations involving Beep autonomous vehicles, soon to hit the roads in the southeast Orlando community.
Beep, an Orlando-based company, plans to introduce the shuttles later this summer.
During Wednesday’s training, Orlando Fire Department and Orange County Fire Rescue crews, along with Orlando Police Department officers, got hands-on experience with the vehicles, learning how to enter the passenger area and manually operate and disable the shuttles’ automated driving system, said Beep CEO Joe Moye.
Orlando joins a number of cities adopting autonomous vehicles, including Gainesville, Jacksonville, Detroit and Las Vegas, after city officials studied the technology for years as a solution to mobility and traffic safety.