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

Tampa’s purpose to develop into a wise town have been on show on Monday, because the Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority hosted the first public demonstration of a connected vehicle technology analysis undertaking that may release into pilot trying out in 2018. The undertaking comes to outfitting a fleet of 1,600 privately owned cars with technology that may keep in touch with roadways and different cars in order to obtain more than a few warnings and signals about roadway stipulations, pace prohibit adjustments, risks, and extra.

The undertaking may also attach 10 buses in the realm to keep in touch with visitors indicators, which can then prioritize the buses’ actions so they are able to keep on agenda. 10 streetcars will use the technology to locate when every other connected vehicle is ready to move their tracks, in order cut back the risk of collisions.

An accompanying app for 500 pedestrian testers can be an element of the undertaking, too, however used to be no longer on show these days. This app will factor “walk” signals at more than a few intersections and can audibly sign if a bus or streetcar starts transferring close by.

Above: a roadside unit put in on Tampa’s Meridian Ave.

The deployment of this technology is a component of the Tampa Connected Vehicle Pilot, one of best 3 large-scale connected vehicle gadget implementation efforts going down around the U.S.

Funded thru a grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation, comparable pilots also are underway in New York City and Wyoming, each and every with a unique set of targets.

In New York, for instance, the purpose is to check connected cars in a dense, city surroundings. Meanwhile, the undertaking in Wyoming is involved in outfitting vehicles alongside I-80 – a stretch of roadway the place stipulations are regularly hazardous because of excessive climate like blowing snow, fog and prime winds.

Tampa, then again, is the one one of the 3 Connected Vehicle tasks involving native citizens using their very own cars.

Above: an antenna on a connected automobile

The town had crushed out others like Charlotte, N.C. and Pittsburgh, PA, for the D.O.T.’s $21 million in grant investment, we perceive.

The undertaking, significantly, represents a large win for Tampa, given its purpose to develop into referred to as a hub for good town applied sciences.

The town’s dimension and skill to near down some of its roadways right through the day has already made it excellent for web hosting self sufficient vehicle using checks.

Tampa additionally not too long ago introduced an UrbanTech accelerator involved in good town startups in partnership with Dreamit. The incubator is a component of a bigger, $three billion downtown revitalization effort subsidized via genuine property developer and Tampa Bay Lightning proprietor, Jeff Vinik and Bill Gates’ Cascadia fund.

Tampa’s distinctive visitors congestion problems and medium-sized downtown additionally helped it earn the U.S. D.O.T. grant for connected cars.

For instance, inbound commuters on Tampa’s Lee Roy Selmon Expressway’s reversible lanes regularly revel in delays and rear-end crashes right through morning commutes.

“The whole idea is to have drivers aware of their environment – when a light is about to change, or if there’s congestion ahead, or if there’s a pedestrian in the crosswalk,” defined Vic Bhide, Chief Traffic Management Engineer for the City of Tampa. “This pilot is about vehicles, about infrastructure, about pedestrians, and eventually, about bicycles as well,” he mentioned.

In Tampa’s undertaking, volunteer drivers can have their cars equipped with a wise rearview reflect that communicates a wide range of signals, together with when the vehicle detects different visitors forward has slowed or stopped; if the motive force goes the incorrect route on a roadway; if the rate prohibit adjustments; if a pedestrian is in their trail; and different data.

Cars may also have antennas for sending and receiving knowledge, a speaker for audio signals, and a short-range radio for speaking with different cars, lighting, and crosswalks.

Siemens is creating the 40 roadside devices that may keep in touch with the connected cars in addition to with town’s Transportation Management Center the use of a devoted short-range verbal exchange technology (DSRC).

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Above: the Siemens roadside unit, shut up


The roadside devices’ put in price is round $11,000 to 12,000, we’re advised, and so they’re anticipated to final 10 to 20 years, for the reason that the SIM card within may also be swapped out as more moderen wi-fi applied sciences are to be had.

Data from the cars can be displayed on a dashboard-like interface at Tampa’s Transportation Management Center, appearing such things as go back and forth instances, pace and congestion. The dashboard, an element of Siemens’ Concert instrument, too can incorporate CCTV feeds, and may also be upgraded to incorporate parking availability data.

Before, this type of visitors knowledge would had been gathered manually, throughout assets. The new dashboard will pull in the connected vehicle data into an easy-to-read interface.

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Above: Tampa’s Transportation Management Center; Siemens’ Concert instrument

Another dealer, Brandmotion, is operating with radio suppliers Savari, Commsignia, and Sirius XM to offer the onboard devices which are put in in the cars.

On Monday, the Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority (THEA) allowed attendees to trip as passengers in connected cars on a closed roadway, to turn how the signals labored for such things as stopped visitors, incorrect means warnings, and pace prohibit adjustments.

The gadget labored as promised right through the checks, flashing warnings to drivers at the good reflect, and signaling them with audible signals, from time to time.

The higher purpose with Tampa’s undertaking, which runs for 18 months, is to assemble details about connected cars in a real-world surroundings, together with the whole thing from the gadget’s interoperability with other distributors, how the interface for drivers must glance, what type of infrastructure is needed via towns, and what affect it has on visitors patterns and roadway incidents.

But it’s additionally the first step in opposition to a long run gadget that will mix connected vehicle technology with self sufficient cars. This would permit for smarter cars that aren’t simply sensing issues round them whilst using themselves, however also are conscious of their position throughout the higher float of visitors.

Of route, with internet-connected technology in normal, there are all the time privateness considerations.

However, we’re advised the information gathered from the undertaking does no longer come with in my opinion identifiable data, like drivers’ names, license numbers, VIN numbers, and many others. Instead, cars are best assigned an ID quantity to tell apart themselves from one every other.

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Above: instance caution messages displayed on a demo unit

Beyond the motive force protection part related with this technology – issues that can sooner or later see insurance coverage firms incentivizing the use of such methods –  the gathered knowledge can assist towns make higher choices about infrastructure wishes.

“A simple example is that we design facilities based on safety factors like how many crashes have been there,” mentioned Bhide. “If there aren’t enough crashes, we don’t recommend certain improvements. But there might have been a lot of near-misses,” he added. “Do we really need to wait for crashes for [improvements] to happen?”

Tampa continues to be recruiting drivers to volunteer for the undertaking, and is providing a 30 % bargain on make a selection tolls as an incentive. Any vehicle underneath 10 years previous is eligible to be equipped with the technology, with the exception of convertibles (because of the place antennas should be fixed.)

Already, 1,300 drivers carried out by way of the pre-screening procedure, and a few 800 have scheduled an appointment to have the gadget put in via technicians at Hillsborough Community College’s business college.

The Tampa Connected Vehicle Project kicks off in early 2018, starting with apparatus installations into volunteers’ cars. The app for pedestrians can be made to be had in spring 2018, as neatly.

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