A new pilot program by the Tampa Highway Expressway Authority (THEA) geared toward drivers using the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway and downtown roads is coming. It will involve pedestrians walking in certain parts of Downtown Tamp, as well. Currently, only one location is listed. The program looks to not only have a goal of reducing the carbon footprint and time spent in traffic for commuters but to increase safety as well. Communication between vehicles will occur through transmitters located on vehicles communicating amongst one another as well as a set of sensors at a specific intersection downtown.
The program is called the “THEA Connected Vehicle Pilot.”
As a driver, in order to participate, you must qualify via a survey. You can find it at https://www.tampacvpilot.com/survey/.
If you qualify as a driver, there will be equipment that you will have to install in your vehicle. It appears that the installation is scheduled, and you do not have to do it yourself. A rearview mirror and antennae will get installed, as well as a radio transmitter. According to the infographic, the location of the antennae and transmitter will vary.
Some additional cool info: The project’s rearview mirror will display safety messages and can issue an alert if something is going on nearby. The antennae and radio transmitter will provide the back and forth communications necessary for the reporting processes to occur. Drivers can save up to $550 annually on their SunPass account by participating.
The Pilot program runners are hoping to gather data between vehicles as well as the vehicles and traffic lights in the downtown area. To learn more about the driver’s aspect and requirements, visit https://www.tampacvpilot.com/get-involved/driver/.
For pedestrians who frequent downtown, there’s a spot for you in this program, too!
According to the program’s pedestrian page, the test will run at the “midblock crosswalk on East Twiggs Street near the Hillsborough County Courthouse.” This is a heavily trafficked area by cars and foot traffic. Transmitters on participating cars will communicate with sensors placed at the crosswalk and alert cars of active walkers. Technology between the sensors and the participating vehicles’ transmitter can quickly calculate if the driver could potentially come in proximity to walkers. An alert will pop up and let the driver know. To learn more, visit https://www.tampacvpilot.com/get-involved/pedestrian/.