Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority (HART) recently selected Stantec to provide autonomous mobility services for the Marion Street Transitway. HART is responsible for providing public transportation service within Hillsborough County, including the City of Tampa. The Autonomous Mobility Service project will be funded by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT).
This project is the first continuously operated shared autonomous project in the U.S. that will function in an open environment on public roads with mixed traffic. There have been similar autonomous projects in the U.S.; however, the autonomous shuttles have only operated within the confines of private land, and therefore does not interact with mixed traffic outside of the private property boundaries.
"A downtown autonomous vehicle (AV) service will address current mobility needs in downtown, and act as a catalyst project for further autonomy in transportation throughout the Tampa Bay region." said HART CEO Katharine Eagan.
Under the project, HART will demonstrate their leadership in the push to deploy low-speed automated vehicles by embarking on a one-year pilot program (with an option for four additional years). The entire team, which includes Coast Autonomous, is tasked with delivering the self-driving vehicles and conducting the pilot testing.
The self-driving shuttle will be equipped with advanced technology and connected vehicle technology to transport passengers along the corridor during daytime hours. As part of the project, the team will also study corridor improvement needs and deliver recommendations to HART. This pilot program will operate in conjunction with the broader HART public transportation network. The project will document the safety benefits of such a service and bring Automated Vehicles (he AV) forward within a Connected Vehicle (CV) environment.