Pennsylvania’s first automated vehicle (AV) shuttle is coming to Philadelphia this summer. The zero-emissions shuttle will provide visitors and employees with transportation services within the Philadelphia Navy Yard and to SEPTA’s NRG Station located at Broad Street and Pattison Avenue.

Pennsylvania’s First Automated Shuttle Coming to the Philadelphia Navy Yard

Pennsylvania’s first automated vehicle (AV) shuttle is coming to Philadelphia this summer. The zero-emissions shuttle will provide visitors and employees with transportation services within the Philadelphia Navy Yard and to SEPTA’s NRG Station located at Broad Street and Pattison Avenue. 

The project took a step forward this week when PIDC, Philadelphia’s public-private economic development corporation, awarded Perrone Robotics, Inc. a two-phased AV shuttle and services contract. The pilot AV shuttle is funded by the Travel Options Program, a grant program of the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC). The Travel Options Program is an ongoing regional initiative that awards funds for innovative projects to provide better access to more travel options, while meeting the goals of climate action and air quality improvement, equity, reliability, freedom of choice, and affordability.

Pennsylvania’s first automated vehicle (AV) shuttle is coming to Philadelphia this summer! The zero-emissions shuttle will provide visitors and employees with transportation services within the Navy Yard and to SEPTA’s NRG Station.

“The idea behind the Travel Options Program is to fund innovative projects that expand accessibility to and encourage the use of alternatives to driving alone, and we are pleased to fund the first AV shuttle in Greater Philadelphia and in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania,” said Barry Seymour, DVRPC Executive Director. “This project is the culmination of ongoing public-private partnerships, and many years of planning related to new technologies and is just the start of adding more electric and AV vehicles to the menu of travel options in our region.”

This project will enhance Navy Yard access and also help to reduce congestion and carbon emissions for the region. The Navy Yard AV shuttle deployment will include a backup operator on board during the pilot. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) will oversee regulatory approvals and is partnering with researchers at Drexel University to analyze shuttle performance and rider feedback to inform future deployments. The infrastructure consulting firm AECOM assisted the grant proposal, and through its existing contracts with PennDOT will be providing overall program management, technical planning, testing, and deployment expertise.

“We are honored and excited to be part of this forward-thinking program with PIDC, DVRPC, PennDOT, AECOM, and Drexel University, to bring the world’s first automated Buy America, FMVSS, and ADA-compliant transit van to the city of Philadelphia,” said Paul Perrone, CEO and founder of Perrone Robotics. “This program will be a national example of the power of private-public partnerships to connect communities through safety-enhanced mobility solutions. We look forward to providing our TONY AV driver for the streets of Philadelphia and beyond to meet the growing demand across the United States and worldwide.” 

“The deployment of the AV shuttle in Philadelphia has been a vision AECOM has been partnering with the City on since 2018. We understand the important need to provide supplemental transit services to all Philadelphians and those visiting the Navy Yard and Sport Complex areas,” said Dan Corey, Vice President, Director of Strategic Solutions Global Transportation, AECOM. “We’re thrilled to support this important project with innovative, sustainable, and collaborative solutions that are accessible to all while leaving a positive impact on the environment and prioritizing safety.” 

The terms of the award include the delivery of the state’s and region’s first Level 3 (as defined by SAE J3016) automated, zero-emissions, Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) compliant, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant, Buy America compliant, and street-worthy shuttle to transport visitors and employees around the Navy Yard campus. The AV shuttle in Phase 1 will augment existing transportation services between key locations within the Navy Yard, and then in Phase 2 will connect the Navy Yard to SEPTA’s NRG Station on the Broad Street subway line and adjacent to the Sports Complex and FDR Park. 

PIDC leads the development and site operations for the Navy Yard, including its Navy Yard Transit program, which currently operates two routes to NRG Station and Center City Philadelphia. As part of PIDC’s mission – to spur investment, support business growth, and foster developments that create jobs, revitalize neighborhoods, and drive growth in every corner of Philadelphia – this AV project will support a growing community of 15,000 employees, 8 million square feet of mix-use facilities that includes office, industrial, R&D, life sciences, and institutional space, with plans to add additional office, laboratories and clean spaces, retail, restaurants and hotels, and residential buildings, parks, greenways and amenities over the next 20 years. 

PIDC reviewed a wide range of mobility options focused on proven reliability and safety, including conducting a public request for proposals (RFP) process. Perrone Robotics’ successful history of AV deployments across municipal, university, and community projects, made it a clear choice for the pilot project. Perrone’s portfolio of turn-key AV transit and transportation shuttles include small, medium, and large vehicles for use in geofenced and localized operations. 

“We are thrilled to partner with DVRPC, PennDOT, Perrone Robotics, AECOM, and Drexel University to deploy Pennsylvania’s first AV shuttle at the Navy Yard,” said Kate McNamara, PIDC’s Senior Vice President, Navy Yard. “Not only will this shuttle provide the Navy Yard’s employees and visitors with additional safe and sustainable transit access around campus and connecting to the region via the subway connection, but it also showcases Pennsylvania and the city of Philadelphia as a leader in the latest technologies and innovation. We are excited to support this project at the Navy Yard and look forward to launching this summer.” 

For the first phase of the project, Perrone will deploy the TONY-MEV (a medium electric transit vehicle), built on the proven Ford 350HD chassis, fully ADA compliant, and equipped with a state-of-the-art battery-electric powertrain manufactured and installed by Lightning eMotors. The vehicle will be integrated with Perrone’s TONY (To Navigate You) technology that converts the shuttle to fully automated capabilities for operations in the Navy Yard. The shuttle can seat nine passengers plus a wheelchair, aside from the operator. The wheelchair ramp feature will be accessible from a standard roadside curb.  

The AV shuttle is expected to commence in summer 2022.

“Automated technologies have tremendous potential to expand equitable transportation options and enhance safety,” PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian said. “We are committed to safely developing this industry in Pennsylvania and look forward to partnering on this shuttle deployment.”



Media Contacts:

DVRPC: Elise Turner, Manager, Office of Communications and Engagement / 215-435-0379 (cell)

PIDC: Jennifer Tran, Director, Navy Yard Marketing and Communications / 215-218-2854

PennDOT: Erin Waters-Trasatt, Communications Director / 717-873-8800


The Navy Yard Releases New Navy Yard Transit App!

PIDC, Philadelphia’s public-private economic development corporation and master developer of the Philadelphia Navy Yard announces the launch of its new app called Navy Yard Transit to offer Navy Yard employees and visitors an easy and reliable trip planning app that includes real-time arrival information on many public and shared transportation services, including its own Navy Yard shuttle system with routes from the Navy Yard to NRG Subway Station and to Center City.

PIDC has partnered with Moovit, a global leader in mobility solutions, to launch Navy Yard Transit, which aggregates many mobility options in one app, making it simple to compare alternative transit and even offers a multi-modal approach: public transit, shuttles, and bikeshare, or a trip plan that may combine two or more methods of transit. This will allow for users to conveniently plan a trip and reduce reliance on private cars, resulting in less congestion and environmental impacts.

Navy Yard Transit is available as an iOS, Android, and Web app, combining official information from local transit agencies including SEPTA and PATCO, as well as crowdsourced information to calculate the best route for each journey with urban mobility options like the bus, train, light rail, subway, shuttle, shared bikes such as Indego and BCycle, car-sharing such as Zipcar, Uber and Lyft. Navy Yard Transit also provides real-time arrival information, so users know exactly when their bus or shuttle is arriving, a Live Directions feature with “Get Off Alerts” to provide step-by-step guidance for the entire journey, and Service Alerts so they can avoid disruptions and plan their journey accordingly.

This new Navy Yard Transit app replaces the previous app and focuses on the Navy Yard shuttles’ real-time arrival information allowing users to enjoy a more predictable and reliable journey to and from the Navy Yard. The app provides improved information on departure and arrival times, including real-time arrival countdowns, so riders can more efficiently plan their trips, have more insight on their journey while on the go. Riders can “favorite” their frequently used routes and receive push notifications about major traffic delays or winter service notifications.

Navy Yard Transit empowers people with disabilities to use public transportation with more assurance. The app incorporates accessibility features, including:

  • Screen reading features for low vision users (including TalkBack/VoiceOver capabilities)
  • Wheelchair-accessible routes and stations identified
  • Step-free routes calculated
  • Designed with optimized menus and buttons for people with hand-motor disabilities

The Navy Yard app is available to download on for Apple devices on the App Store or for Android devices on Google Play for free.

For questions or feedback, please contact



New Federal Award to Expand Navy Yard Shuttle Service

PIDC, Philadelphia’s public-private economic development corporation, today announced it will expand its popular shuttle service at the Navy Yard, as a result of receiving funding from the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC). The $416,280 award is part of the Competitive Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) Program that funds projects to improve air quality and/or reduce traffic congestion. CMAQ projects reduce emissions and help Greater Philadelphia meet federal health-based air quality standards. Read more