Tampa demonstrates connected vehicle technology

December 1, 2017  - By

Tampa, Florida, took a big step toward its goal of becoming a smart city on Nov. 13, when the Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority (THEA) hosted its first public demonstration of connected car technology.

THEA plans to equip 1,600 privately owned automobiles with connected vehicle technology by mid-2018 as part of the Tampa Connected Vehicle Pilot.

In the project, volunteers’ automobiles will be equipped to communicate with downtown traffic and pedestrian signals to enhance safety, improve traffic flow and reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. Ten buses and 10 streetcars will also be equipped.

Tampa is one of three sites deploying the technology as part of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Connected Vehicle Pilot Deployment Program. The other two sites are New York City and the Interstate 80 corridor in the state of Wyoming. Tampa’s project is the only one that involves local residents driving their own cars.

THEA is now recruiting volunteer drivers and pedestrians for the Tampa Connected Vehicle Pilot. Participating drivers commuting on the equipped expressway will receive a warning when traffic backs up, or when approaching a curve at an unsafe speed. Drivers who near pedestrians in certain crosswalks also will receive alerts.

Pedestrians will be able to participate in the pilot by installing an app on their smartphones that will enable them to request a “walk” signal at certain intersections, and issue audible alerts if a bus or streetcar is moving nearby.

About the Author: Tracy Cozzens

Senior Editor Tracy Cozzens joined GPS World magazine in 2006. She also is editor of GPS World’s newsletters and the sister website Geospatial Solutions. She has worked in government, for non-profits, and in corporate communications, editing a variety of publications for audiences ranging from federal government contractors to teachers.