Mayo Clinic launches self-driving shuttles to transport COVID-19 tests and medical supplies

Mayo Clinic in Florida partnered with the Jacksonville Transportation Authority to deploy autonomous shuttles that transport medical supplies and COVID-19 tests collected at the hospital's drive-thru testing location.

Four things to know:

1. Mayo Clinic in Florida, part of Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic, began using four autonomous shuttles on March 30 to transport COVID-19 tests from the drive-thru testing site to a processing laboratory on the hospital's campus.

2. COVID-19 test samples are stored in secure containers prior to Mayo Clinic staff loading the contents onto the shuttle, according to the news release.

3. Mayo Clinic and the JTA partnered with autonomous vehicle tech companies Beep and Navya to create, test and deploy the routes for the self-driving shuttles at the hospital.

4. The routes are isolated from pedestrians, traffic and staff, and Mayo Clinic, Beep and JTA monitor the service from a mobile command center.

"During a time of rapid change and uncertainty, the ability to think innovatively alongside the Jacksonville Transportation Authority, Navya and Beep during the pandemic has strengthened all of our teams through community collaboration," Mayo Clinic in Florida CEO Kent Thielen, MD, said in the news release. "Using artificial intelligence enables us to protect staff from exposure to this contagious virus by using cutting edge autonomous vehicle technology, and frees up staff time that can be dedicated to direct treatment and care for patients."


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