YELLOWSTONE — Yellowstone National Park debuted a new automated vehicle system this morning June 9.
The electric driverless shuttle successfully transported its first passengers this morning and will run be transporting visitors in the Canyon Village area until August 31.
The shuttle is called T.E.D.D.Y, which stands for, The Electric Driverless Demonstration in Yellowstone.
According to the park, the goal is to understand how automated vehicle shuttle technology can be used in parks and how visitors perceive and engage these services. The data from this pilot will help guide long-term management decisions regarding transportation in national parks.
“We’re very pleased to participate in this shuttle pilot and test this evolving technology,” said Superintendent Cam Sholly. “As visitation continues increasing in Yellowstone, we are looking at a range of visitor management actions that focus on protecting resources, improving the visitor experience, and reducing congestion, noise and pollution. Shuttles will unquestionably play a key role in helping achieve these goals in many of the busiest areas of the park.”
From June 9 through July 12, the shuttles will be on the hotel loop with stops at the Visitor Services, Moran Lodge and Washburn Lodge in the Canyon Village Area.
From July 14 through August 31, the shuttle will run the campgrounds and the visitor services. The shuttle will make stops at Amphitheater & Campground Services, Middle Campground and Upper Campground. On July 13 there will be no shuttle services. Services will run from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.
All passengers are required to wear a mask when on board. Each shuttle will have an attendant. Although they are driverless, attendants can take over operations at any time.
According to the park’s website, “if the pilot program is successful, we may consider using this technology in the future as we examine how alternative transit systems can be used in Yellowstone to improve visitor access and experience.”
Yellowstone National Park posted to Facebook about the inaugural run on the new shuttles, along with a few of T.E.D.D.Y’s first riders.
Yellowstone National Park was selected for the pilot program by the National Park Service based on visitation levels and transportation goals. In 2019, Yellowstone was the sixth-most visited national park in the United States with over 4 million visits.
About The Author
Buckrail @ Lindsay
Lindsay Vallen is a Community News Reporter covering a little bit of everything; with an interest in politics, wildlife, and amplifying community voices. Originally from the east coast, Lindsay has called Wilson, Wyoming home since 2017. In her free time, she enjoys snowboarding, hiking, cooking, and completing the Jackson Hole Daily crosswords.
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