Google and Waymo abandoned Low-Speed-Vehicles (LSV), those cute marshmallow cars/golf carts that can only go up to 25 mph. However another company sees great value in LSV’s for autonomous shuttles. COAST Autonomous invited members of the NY media to come to Broadway (between 47th and 48th Streets) today, Tuesday July 17, to ride on Manhattan’s first fully autonomous shuttle.
COAST Autonomous is a driverless mobility company that has developed software to power
fleets of Autonomous Vehicles (AVs) to move people and goods, the first and last mile, in
low-speed environments (city centers, campuses, airports, theme parks, resorts, and
business parks). COAST has developed its own prototype self-driving shuttle (the COAST P-
1), but its technology can fit on any vehicle, such as the AV EZ-GO Golf Cart converted by
While billions of dollars have recently been invested in driverless “cars” (with recent well publicized setbacks), it appears that this effort is still many years away from safe deployment.
Low-speed AVs, on the other hand, can be deployed safely today and there is an enormous market waiting. It means that despite the media attention on driverless cars, the COAST P-1 Shuttle, is actually the type of AV that most Americans will likely ride in first.
There are a number of important reasons why COAST is delighted to have the opportunity to demonstrate the P-1 Shuttle on Broadway.
(1) It is a huge coup to be the first company to operate an AV shuttle in Manhattan. This is also the first media demonstration for the all-new P-1 self-driving shuttle. Since 2012, the Coast team has run over 60 autonomous demonstrations in 7countries, moving over 120,000 passengers.
(2) The pedestrian mall along Broadway is hugely popular and a shining example of how a city center can be given back to the people. This is exactly the vision behind COAST. Pierre Lefevre, the founder and CTO, invented the self-driving shuttle while sitting in city traffic. Pierre’s vision was to remove traffic, pollution and parked cars from the city center, increasing the pedestrian areas, and providing an on-demand mobility system of driverless shuttles.
(3) Having the Coast P-1 Shuttle run along Broadway shows the world what the vision for future city environments can look like.
The other important point is that COAST’s technology is cost effective and available today. The technology is cost effective because most OEMs are using around $500,000 worth of sensors and electronics on each car. COAST[’s vehicles, on the other hand, use a more efficient array of less expensive “off the shelf” sensors making them a true commercial
The P-1 shuttle is a fully autonomous vehicle (AV) designed with the pedestrian in mind, but can also operate in mixed traffic. No steering wheel or pedals and no front or rear. The P-1 is optimized to operate in low speed environments such as campuses, city centers, airports, business parks, etc. Comparable to an elevator running between buildings instead of up and down a building.
The ride can be described as both “wonderfully boring” and “magical”. The vehicle can be programmed to run on a fixed loop during peak hours and can run an on-demand “point to point” service during off peak hours, with passengers calling the shuttle from a smart phone “app” and selecting the destination on the app too. The COAST P-1 design is based on years of experience. One of the main features is a flatc hassis with electric wheel hub motors, which is a benefit because: (1) there are no axelsacross the vehicle making for a very large floor space (
2) the acceleration and braking is very smooth, resulting in a good user experience.
The seating can be configured according the customers needs. The P-1 prototype has bench seating with room for 14 seated passengers and 6 standing, although a total of 8 to 12 passengers is more comfortable.
Approx. Dimensions: L: 13ft x H: 8 ft x W: 6 ft
Battery Life: 10 hours (no air conditioning) & 5 hours (with a/c)
Wireless Charging: Yes
Max. Operating Speed: 25mph
Wheelchair Ramp: Yes