It's All About Safety, Mobility and the Environment
The Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority’s Connected Vehicle Pilot will test and deploy a variety of technologies aimed at improving safety, mobility and the environment in downtown Tampa’s Central Business District. Drivers, transit riders and pedestrians will experience these benefits in many ways.
Familiar automotive safety features such as airbags and anti-lock brakes are designed to help people survive crashes, but connected vehicle technologies can prevent many crashes from happening in the first place. In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation, these technologies have the potential to prevent or reduce the impact of millions of crashes every year.
Connected vehicles will make downtown a safer place to drive by communicating wirelessly with each other and with elements of the roadway such as traffic lights and crosswalks. This real-time communication will enable connected vehicles to warn their drivers of a variety of safety hazards. For example, as morning commuters approach downtown on the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway Reversible Express Lanes, they will receive a warning when cars on the road ahead have suddenly slowed down or come to a stop. Drivers of connected vehicles in certain locations will even receive an alert when a pedestrian they may not have noticed is crossing the street ahead of them.
Beyond preventing crashes, connected vehicles also improve mobility. When cars are able to communicate with traffic signals, for example, transportation managers can respond in real time to adjust signal timing and keep traffic flowing smoothly. Buses will communicate with traffic signals too, helping them to stay on schedule and their passengers to arrive on time.
Connected vehicles are good for the environment too. When traffic is flowing more smoothly, cars operate more efficiently and consume less fuel. Fewer stops and starts at traffic lights will also reduce emissions of greenhouse gases.
Connected vehicles do not drive themselves, but by communicating wirelessly with each other and with roadway infrastructure, they have the potential to improve safety, mobility and the environment in downtown Tampa.