YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyo. (ABC4) – The Electric Driverless Demonstration in Yellowstone — or TEDDY for short — successfully transported its first passengers Wednesday morning.
TEDDY is Yellowstone National Park’s new automated vehicle shuttle system.
As part of a pilot program of TEDDY, Yellowstone officials are allowing visitors to ride one of two low-speed, electric shuttles for free within the Canyon Village campground, visitor services, and adjoining visitor lodging area from now until Aug. 31.
Officials say this is meant to help understand how automated vehicle shuttle technology can be used in parks in the future, therefore guiding 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 Cam Sholly, superintendent of Yellowstone National Park.
In 2019, Yellowstone was the sixth-most visited national park in the United States with over 4 million guests, according to the park’s website. With such high demand, the National Park Service tasked Yellowstone with exploring opportunities for increasing mobility.
Did you know Yellowstone’s annual visits have increased by 1 million in the last decade? Using visitor use studies, transportation studies, and pilot projects, employees like Christina work to understand the impacts of increasing visitation. #WhatWeDoWednesdays pic.twitter.com/fP0aatT1rj— Yellowstone National Park (@YellowstoneNPS) June 9, 2021
“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,” Sholly said. “Shuttles will unquestionably play a key role in helping achieve these goals in many of the busiest areas of the park.”
For information on shuttle routes, COVID-19 restrictions, and safety protocols in place with the program, click here.