Tampa offers first demo of its connected vehicle technology project, launching with 1,600 cars in 2018 | TechCrunch

Venture Smarter in Tampa, FL

Tampa’s goal to become a smart city was on display on Monday, as the Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority hosted the first public demonstration of a connected vehicle technology research project that will launch into pilot testing in 2018. The project involves outfitting a fleet of 1,600 privately owned vehicles with technology that will communicate with roadways and other cars in order to receive various warnings and alerts about roadway conditions, speed limit changes, dangers and more.

The project also will connect 10 buses in the area to communicate with traffic signals, which will then prioritize the buses’ movements so they can stay on schedule. Ten streetcars will use the technology to detect when another connected vehicle is about to cross their tracks, in order reduce the chance of collisions.

An accompanying app for 500 pedestrian testers will be a part of the project, too, but was not on display today. This app will issue “walk” alerts at various intersections and will audibly signal if a bus or streetcar begins moving nearby.

The deployment of this technology is part of the Tampa Connected Vehicle Pilot, one of only three large-scale connected vehicle system implementation efforts taking place across the U.S.

Funded through a grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation, related pilots are also underway in New York City and Wyoming, each with a different set of objectives.

In New York, for example, the goal is to test connected vehicles in a dense, urban environment. Meanwhile, the project in Wyoming is focused on outfitting trucks along I-80 — a stretch of roadway where conditions are often hazardous due to extreme weather like blowing snow, fog and high winds.

Tampa, however, is the only one of the three Connected Vehicle projects involving local residents driving their own cars.

Read the full article originally posted on TechCrunch here.