THEA’s Connected Vehicle Pilot Program Enters a New Phase
THEAs Connected Vehicle Pilot Program Enters a New Phase
We are excited to announce that our Connected Vehicles (CV) Pilot Program has reached a major milestone and entered into a new phase of development! We completed Phase 1 activity for the pilot program in August, which included concept planning and development with various industry leaders and local partners to plan and map out the program components. Phase 2 will include the design and deployment of CV technology in downtown Tampa. THEAs CV Pilot Program is made possible through a United States Department of Transportation Grant and aims to improve traffic flow, reduce the risk of crashes, and improve Tampas carbon footprint through the use of technology that allows cars, public transportation vehicles, and pedestrians to communicate with one another.
As part of Phase 2, wireless communication devices, called roadside units, will be installed along the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway Reversible Express Lanes (REL), Meridian Avenue, Channelside Drive, and other downtown roadways. Other devices, called onboard units, will be installed on 10 Hillsborough Area Regional Transit (HART) buses, 10 Tampa Electric Company (TECO) Line Streetcar System trolley cars, and 1,500 privately owned vehicles. Mobile apps will also be developed to enhance pedestrian safety. Roadside and onboard units will be able to communicate with each other and the mobile app to connect drivers, public transportation vehicles, and pedestrians.
The CV Pilot Program aims to improve rush hour safety and congestion by alerting drivers on the REL of hazardous conditions, alerting drivers if they attempt to enter the REL in the wrong direction, and alert other drivers if a vehicle has entered the REL in the wrong direction; improve the safety and on-time performance of public transportation by allowing buses to communicate with traffic signals to allow for priority access to help arrive at bus stops on time and warning streetcar operators when a vehicle or pedestrian attempts to cross the tracks; improve traffic monitoring and flow by allowing the Traffic Management Center to monitor vehicle traffic in real time; and improve pedestrian safety through smart crosswalk paint that will alert drivers when a pedestrian enters a crosswalk and a mobile app that will alert pedestrians about oncoming traffic.
In the Fall, we will begin to recruit volunteer drivers to participate in the pilot program. This test period will be the final part of Phase 2 and an 18-month operational period, or Phase 3, is scheduled to conclude in late 2019.
We are excited to play our part in bringing Tampa to the forefront of transportation technology and making it easier and safer to commute around this great city.