Florida-based Connected Vehicle Pilot Tests Tech in Ann Arbor

U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT)-funded Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority Connected Vehicle Pilot (THEA CV Pilot) has completed phase 4 testing of its systems at the American Center of Mobility (ACM) testing facility in Ypsilanti Township.
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Edited image of CVs on a freeway
The Tampa Connected Vehicle Pilot includes vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications applications, which will alert drivers of connected vehicles when a forward collision with another CV is imminent. // Courtesy of THEA

U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT)-funded Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority Connected Vehicle Pilot (THEA CV Pilot) has completed the first round of phase 4 testing of its systems at the American Center of Mobility (ACM) testing facility in Ypsilanti Township.

Connected vehicle systems are part of the new wave of mobility. They operate within a vehicle to check different safety features — in the THEA CV Pilot, the systems include forward collision warning, emergency electronic brake lights, intersection movement assist, wrong way entry, pedestrian collision warning, end of ramp deceleration warning, and red-light violation warning — and communicate that information with outside systems via dedicated short range communication (DSRC) channels or the THEA network using cellular modems.

These exterior systems can be in other cars, stop lights, crossing lights, and any other electronic transportation systems. The phase 4 test was the first time all the separate systems had been tested simultaneously. These applications are being deployed in collaboration with Honda, Hyundai, and Toyota, using DENSO On-Board Units and Siemens Roadside Units.

“The THEA CV Pilot has been successful in implementing CV technology for sending warnings in real-time and documenting the data for use by the industry for future deployments. We are working with the OEMs to using technology to make it safer to drive,” says Bob Frey, director of planning and THEA CV project manager. “Our team’s goal is to one day eradicate crashes all together, which will require everyone to work together. This has been a great collaboration showing how the transportation industry can work together to solve problems.”

The ACM event was used to establish the efficiency of the CV-equipped vehicles, but that integration into actual transportation systems to enhance safety, mobility, and reduce traffic for drivers and pedestrians.

The first three phases of testing have been completed with 1,000 private vehicles at its peak. The system in its current testing implementation has warned 14 wrong-way drivers on interchange ramps, nine potential trolley crashes, and has given over 1,500 speed advisories per month on freeway exit ramps according to the company.

The systems will be installed in different locations on different vehicles, but the equipment is the same. A heads up display is designed to issue audio and visual warnings. One antenna will be used to gather and send data to the on-board and off-board systems. Finally, a short-range radio will be used to communicate this information with other connected systems.

When the pilot deployment ends, THEA and its partners hope to continue to expand CV technology throughout the city of Tampa Bay. According to THEA, the technology is minimally invasive on-board and off-board, making this expansion easier.

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