TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Tuesday, the Hillsborough Regional Transit Authority (HART) and the City of Tampa will demo autonomous vehicle technology in downtown Tampa, as a precursor for future plans to bring self-driving vehicles into the business district.
The demonstration will include a vehicle and technology from May Mobility, which recently tested self-driving micro-transit shuttle service in Detroit.
In November, HART announced plans for the country’s first shuttle program using autonomous vehicles on public roads. At the time, HART explained the pilot program would include love-speed automated vehicles, tested on downtown Tampa’s roads during daytime hours.
The demonstration will take place from 2 to 4 p.m. along the Marion Transit Way corridor during the live event. This roadway is the same area HART anticipates the deployment and future use of autonomous vehicles in the downtown business district.
This isn’t Tampa’s first foray into autonomous vehicles. The Selmon Expressway has been used for testing of self-driving vehicles. Additionally, in 2017 the Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority announced plans to equip approximately 1,600 privately owned automobiles with connected vehicle technology by mid-2018.
Volunteers’ automobiles are equipped to communicate with downtown traffic and pedestrian signals to enhance safety, improve traffic flow and even reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. Hillsborough Area Regional Transit (HART) will also equip 10 buses and 10 TECO Line streetcars with this technology.
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