After nearly two years of planning, design and testing, the Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority
(THEA) is now recruiting volunteer drivers and pedestrians for the Tampa Connected Vehicle (CV) Pilot.
The pilot aims to demonstrate the safety, mobility and environmental benefits of connected vehicle technology.
THEA expects to equip approximately 1,600 privately owned automobiles with connected vehicle technology by May 2018. Volunteers’ automobiles will be outfitted with devices that communicate other connected vehicles to help prevent crashes. The cars will also communicate with downtown traffic and pedestrian signals to enhance safety, improve traffic flow and even reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. Hillsborough Area Regional Transit (HART) will also equip 10 buses and 10 TECO Line streetcars with this technology.
Eligible participating drivers will receive a 30 per cent toll rebate on the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway Reversible Express Lanes (REL).
Drivers must be 18 years of age or older, have a Florida driver’s license, own a car that is a 1996 model or newer and drive regularly on the REL or in the downtown deployment area. Prospective participants must take the online pre-screening questionnaire on the pilot website to determine whether they are eligible.
Pedestrians will also be able to participate in the pilot by installing an app on their smartphones. The app, which is expected to be available for download in February 2018, will enable pedestrians to request a ‘walk’ signal at several intersections on Meridian Avenue. On some downtown streets, it will also issue an audible alert if a bus or streetcar is starting to move nearby.