Check out this first-person POV of an attendee on the demo ride as we made our way around the course. Thanks to Ted Bailey for the camera work!
Perrone Robotics was in Florida the week of July 14, to attend the Automated Vehicles Symposium which is part of the AUVSI umbrella of activities. We had a booth at the show as well as a talk in the Enterprise series of talks and also gave rides in our latest vehicle, the TONY-powered AVNU shuttle that recently launched for the general public on public roads operating in Albemarle County, Virginia.
At the show, the rides we gave traveled through normal street traffic around a busy, large hotel setting. TONY drives on multi-lane roads (the long stretch below was 2 lanes each way), over speed-bumps, and through several intersections where TONY had to yield to oncoming traffic. TONY also had to handle the unpredictable as we engaged with drivers of all kinds – vacationers, hotel staff, resort attendees, etc. The course is 1.1 miles long and took about 7-9 minutes to run with the ride hitting peak speeds of 18 mph.
Spending only one-day to record and tune the route, safely executing the demo proved clearly that our full-stack autonomous vehicle software architecture is sufficiently advanced to arrive at a site, quickly lay out a course, and deliver a regular, autonomous service.
Post-Show Recap: Outstanding Performance
Over the two-day demo period of the show, TONY operated over the 1.1 mile long course above providing over 55 rides to 270+ attendees. While merging with traffic at two busy intersections and performing yield turns across 2 lanes of traffic each way, our TONY vehicle had zero safety disengagements.
Considering the zero safety disengagements since its public launch in Albemarle County the week prior on our Virginia course, TONY has traveled over 100 miles on public roads with zero disengagements in the past 2 weeks. It’s important to note that almost 60 miles of that was on a new course that we set up in one day in Florida. This is unique in the industry from what we know of other autonomous vehicles and it proves that our unique model can make autonomy work in cases like these.
But you don’t have to believe us – consider the feedback from attendees who rode our shuttle. We gave a ride to a Silicon Valley engineer who has ridden on several competing platforms including those on Polaris GEMs. He said that his ride in TONY was “so much better than what’s out there,” and that “PRI has to get our name out there and make people aware of what we’ve got.” We agree! This was one of our objectives for attending this show, and if you’re reading this…give us a call to experience it yourself!
We also heard from a prominent transit operations VIP who also had experience with other autonomous shuttles (typically operating at slower speeds and in more limited environments). He commented that “your shuttle was near perfect” and was “much more advanced than the box shuttles” in which he’d ridden before.
What we have made is real – and is ready for serious trials and consideration. What we have made is the world’s first “fully autonomous” shuttle operating for the public on public roads. We were happy to show it off at the Automated Vehicle Symposium in Orlando, Florida last week. And we are happy to bring our TONY autonomous shuttle technology to your vehicle of choice, and to your town or property to make the autonomous transit of people and things a reality for you. Contact us today!