The Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority (THEA) and the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority (HART) demonstrated connected vehicle technology in HART transit vehicles for the first time. The live demonstrations were a milestone for the THEA Connected Vehicle Pilot, which has now deployed the potentially lifesaving technology in 1,000 cars, 10 buses, and eight streetcars to improve safety and mobility in downtown Tampa.
Connected vehicle technology enables vehicles to communicate wirelessly with each other and with traffic signals, crosswalks, and other infrastructure. In a series of controlled demonstrations, onboard equipment successfully alerted drivers to potential collisions between a car and a TECO Line streetcar; between a car and a HART bus; and between a car and a pedestrian.
Officials from the Florida Division of the Federal Highway Administration and the U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) participated in the demonstrations. The THEA Connected Vehicle Pilot is sponsored by the U.S. DOT.
“Connected vehicles hold the promise of saving lives while making travel more convenient and efficient,” said James Christian, Florida Division Administrator for the Federal Highway Administration. “This project is truly one of a kind, and we are excited to see the results. We are taking safety to a new level by showcasing this technology.”