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A glimpse of the future: City of Tampa tests self-driving vehicles

Hillsborough County

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – It stopped at red lights. It avoided a jay-walker. It yielded to another car.

A self-driving vehicle seamlessly blended in with other traffic as it made its debut in downtown Tampa.

“It did everything you’d expect a normal vehicle driven by a human being to do,” said Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority CEO Jeffrey Seward, who went for a spin.

May Mobility, based in Michigan, brought the six-passenger vehicle to Tampa to test it out.

HART wants at least five autonomous vehicles on the streets by the end of the summer as part of a test program.

If it takes off, it could serve as another way to get around.

“I think providing mobility options, not just relying on road construction, not just relying on buses, but providing all kinds of options, for all kinds of users really diversifies our opportunities,” said Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn.

The state gave $1.5 million for the test program.

In 2016, Siemens Engineering used Tampa as a test city when it unveiled cars that communicate with equipment along roads and highways.

The self-driving vehicle is the latest look ahead for Tampa.

“Clearly autonomous vehicles are in our future. Maybe not immediately but we’re preparing for that,” Buckhorn said.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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