First publishedon www.ITSInternational.com
The Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority
(THEA) is recruiting volunteer drivers and pedestrians for the Tampa Connected Vehicle Pilot. The $21 million (£16 million) project aims to demonstrate the safety, mobility and environmental benefits of connected vehicle technology (CVP). THEA plans to equip 1,600 privately owned automobiles with this technology by mid-2018.
As an incentive, participating drivers will receive a 30% toll rebate on the reversible express lanes (REL) up to a maximum of $550 (£419).
Volunteers’ automobiles will be equipped to communicate with traffic and pedestrian signals which aim to enhance safety, improve traffic flow and reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. Hillsborough Area Regional Transit will also equip CVP to 10 buses and 10 Tampa Electric Company Line streetcars.
THEA has claimed that volunteers may benefit from the technology in a number of ways. Drivers commuting on the REL will receive a warning when cars on the road ahead have suddenly slowed down or come to a stop. Participating drivers who attempt to enter the downtown end of the REL in the wrong direction will receive an alert, while other drivers on the REL will be warned of the danger. In addition, volunteer drivers approaching the midblock crosswalk on Twiggs Street at the Hillsborough County Courthouse will receive an alert if a pedestrian is present in the crosswalk.
Drivers must be 18 years old or over, have a Florida driver’s license, own a car that is a 1996 model or newer and regularly drive on the REL or in the downtown deployment area. Tampa area residents who are interested in participating are encouraged to take the online pre-screening questionnaire at www.TampaCVpilot.com to determine whether they are eligible.
Prospective participants will then schedule an appointment for equipment installation and training. Qualified technicians will install the equipment by appointment at the Hillsborough Community College Ybor Campus Training Center beginning in early 2018. The pilot will conclude in October 2019.
Pedestrians will be able to participate by installing an app on their smartphones, enabling them 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. The app is expected to be available for download in Spring 2018.
Partners working with THEA include U.S. Department of Transportation, the Florida Department of Transportation, the City of Tampa, HART, University of South Florida’s Center for Urban Transportation Research, Hillsborough Community College, HNTB Corporation, Siemens, Brandmotion and Global-5 Communications. The equipment suppliers are Commsignia, Savari and SiriusXM.
More information is available on the website.