Connected Vehicle Program Makes Tampa Safer for Drivers, Pedestrians


Tampa's getting smarter and safer with their new Connected Vehicle Program
 
This week, journalists and city officials gathered at the Embassy Suites Tampa Downtown Convention Center Hotel to discuss “bringing transportation into the 21st century." It appears Florida will be at the center of it all.
 
 
 
Earlier in September, the U.S. Deparment of Transportation awarded the Tampa-Hillsborough Expressway Authority (THEA) a $17 million contract. Using this contract, Tampa will be among the first cities in the country to use the latest technology to make it safer, smarter, and easier to drive. This new initiative is called the Connected Vehicle Pilot Program
 
*Photo Source: US DOT
 
 
So what exactly is this Connected Vehicle program?
  • The Pilot Program is designed to make cars, buses, and roadside equipment communicate — “talk” — with one another about various traffic conditions.
  • The roadside technology equipment and sensors could be installed in traffic signals, street cameras, automobiles, and attached to polls to help monitor and transmit information.
  • Unlike Smart phone and Smart car apps – the Connected Vehicle Pilot Program technology can give real-time warnings and alerts to pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers about potential hazards, emergency vehicles approaching, and when it’s safe to cross or change lanes.
  • Ultimately, it could help avoid crashes and improve traffic flow.
*Photo source: Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Autority 
 
 
This $17 million dollar contract was awarded to the Tampa-Hillsborough Expressway Authority (THEA) last month by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and is one of just three cities receiving the grant.
 
The program will be part of a three phase plan over the course of 18 months, with the first $2.4 million already implemented last month. Once the program is completed, there will be a three-year study period in which the new Connected Vehicle program would be monitored and analyzed.
 
This won't be Tampa's first venture into smart car technology. Audi tested their self-driving car on a section of highway in Tampa in July of last year.

MOSI now features driverless technology in their exhibits and have implemented the smart car tech to take visitors around the museum grounds. 

So what do you think about this new program? Leave a comment below and let us know!

Written by Dex Fabian

Dex Fabian

Dex Fabian is the co-founder of I Love the Burg and That's So Tampa. A graphic designer by trade, Dex has been witness to Tampa Bay's explosion to become one of the hottest regions in the nation. In 2009, he helped develop the brand for I Love the Burg and in 2014 developed the branding for That's So Tampa and has been a regular contributor to both ever since.