In 2015, The Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority (THEA) launched a pilot project to test connected vehicle technology, and the results are in. Data demonstrated that the initiative prevented 21 potential pedestrian crashes, delivered 19 red light violation warnings, avoided 17 potential vehicle collisions, alerted 14 wrong-way drivers, and issued over 20,000 safety advisories.
Known as the THEA CV Pilot, it began when the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) designated THEA as a test bed for CV technology. The initiative was done in collaboration with Honda, Hyundai America Technical Center, Inc., and Toyota Motor North America. Using the Selmon Expressway as a living lab for testing, the automakers and THEA deployed CV technology on actual city streets — equipping transportation infrastructure, transit vehicles, and over 1,100 volunteer drivers with the ability to receive safety alerts.
The initiative successfully demonstrated that connected vehicle technologies transmit crucial transportation information that can save the lives of drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists.
While the first few phases of the pilot involved planning and development, it was phase four — deployment of vehicles through collaboration with automakers —where the results began to roll in. In phase 4 alone, the THEA CV Pilot identified 150,000 interactions with CV-equipped vehicles, issued over 22,000 vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) warnings, and delivered almost 72 million Travel Information Messages (TIM).
The THEA CV Pilot was the only program to implement real-time, Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (V2I), and Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) communications through the recruitment of Selmon Expressway drivers. It was also the only site in the country that produced real-time data. The other two sites awarded as part of the USDOT's Connected Vehicle Pilot Deployment Program were New York City and the Interstate 80 corridor in Wyoming.
With the CV Pilot recently ending, THEA will continue its efforts to advancing the Selmon Expressway and implementing intelligent transportation systems. The pilot's collected data will also be utilized to leverage existing technology on the I-4 Frame in partnership with the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) in a $43 million program budgeted over the next six years.