The Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority is seeking volunteers as part of a $21 million research project intended to help reduce traffic crashes in the vicinity of downtown Tampa and elsewhere.
Motorists who drive vehicles manufactured by Honda, Acura, Hyundai, Kia or Toyota are being sought to test so-called connected vehicle technology. The equipped autos will use wireless communications to “talk” to other connected vehicles and roadside detectors to help avoid traffic crashes.
The research is intended to document the safety, mobility, and environmental effects of connected vehicle technology. Tampa is one of three sites deploying the technology as part of a U.S. Department of Transportation program. The other sites are New York City and the Interstate 80 corridor in Wyoming.
The Tampa project is the only one that involves local residents driving their own cars. The authority’s goal is to have 300 vehicles outfitted with the technology for the project.
Drivers must be at least 18, hold a Florida driver’s license and regularly use the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway or the downtown area to be eligible. Prospective participants must take the online prescreening questionnaire at theacvpilot.com/2021-survey/ to determine eligibility.
The seven new applications being tested and deployed in Tampa provide warnings for: Forward collisions; emergency brake lights; wrong-way entries; pedestrians; ramp deceleration and red lights. It also provides assistance for moving through intersections.
The equipment is free, and participating drivers will receive up to a 30 percent toll rebate capped at $550. The research is expected to conclude late next year.
Besides the Expressway Authority and federal Department of Transportation, other partners in the research are the Florida Department of Transportation, City of Tampa, University of South Florida’s Center for Urban Transportation Research, Hillsborough Community College, HNTB Corporation, Siemens, Global-5 Communications and Brandmotion.
Similarly, the state Department of Transportation plans a $14.3 million connected technology system that will relay real-time information directly to motorists about congestion, accidents, work zones, weather warnings and end-of-the-traffic-back-up locations on Interstate 4 and alternate routes. Construction is expected to begin in 2022 and be completed in 2024.