Project planners for a large Florida MPC say they plan to introduce automated vehicles for use by its first-phase residents and businesses in 2017. This will make Babcock Ranch the first community of its type to offer driver-less cars to its residents while capturing their input on system performance and customer acceptance.
The development near Fort Myers will offer low-speed, automated, electric vehicles available for use by its residents and business owners. Babcock Ranch is in the process of engaging the automated vehicle and shared mobility communities with the intent of issuing an RFP to solicit companies and organizations to compete for contracts, according to the company's blog.
The intent is to post the RFP in mid-September, hold a system demonstration day in late October and award the strategic partnership contracts in late December 2016. The plan is to have 40 vehicles operating there in 2017 and ramping up to 400 vehicles by 2021.
When the town is complete, it will comprise 19,500 residences and a total of 6 million square feet of commercial and community space, according to this article in BUILDER magazine. More than half of the total land will be dedicated for green spaces, lakes and nature trails. Ultimately, approximately 50,000 residents will call Babcock Ranch home.
As the largest development project currently underway in the United States, Babcock Ranch will be one of the most sustainable and health-focused towns in the U.S., according to project planners.