In an industry endlessly fascinated with the companies creating the self-driving future, Beep Inc. often registers not a peep.
The company does not write its own code. It does not develop its own self-driving stack. Nor does it manufacture vehicles. Nor host a platform that matches riders and drivers.
Beep is a pure fleet operator and content to stay in that lane. Others in the fledgling autonomous-driving industry largely look to commingle technology, vehicles and networks.
"We think that's shortsighted," said Beep CEO Joe Moye. "And it presents us an opportunity."
At a time when mobility services face headwinds, the Orlando-based startup's standalone approach has gained traction. In September, the company launched its first route, in partnership with a real estate development firm, in a planned community near its Central Florida home.
On Saturday, Beep expected to launch in a second location. During spring training, the company will provide transportation for baseball fans headed for the ballpark in Peoria, Ariz.
Contracts with Florida's Jacksonville Transportation Authority and Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority have been signed, Moye said, with others involving a university and another residential community near completion. All told, Beep has 11 vehicles under its management, and by midyear, that's expected to increase to 25, as the company blurs the line between public and private transportation.
"This isn't kicking the tires on the technology," he said. "This is approaching it from the vantage point of, 'This is the future means of transportation for these communities, and that requires someone that understands what it takes to bring to bear all the services you need to be operational.' "
Privately funded by Blue Lagoon Capital, Beep has caught the attention of high-profile industry members. Former U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is on the company's advisory board. Former Volkswagen North America CEO Hinrich Woebcken, a venture partner on Blue Lagoon's board, joined the Beep advisory board this month.
LaHood and Woebcken do not have precisely defined roles.