TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Tampa researchers are looking for nearly 300 volunteers to test a new technology that would allow their personal cars to “talk” to other connected vehicles, lowering the likelihood of crashes.
Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority (THEA) is recruiting volunteers who drive a Honda, Acura, Hyundai, Kia or Toyota for the THEA Connected Vehicle Pilot, a research project aiming at improving driving safety in downtown Tampa.
Volunteers can experience the benefits of forward collision warning, wrong-way entry, pedestrian collision warning and more.
THEA says drivers must be 18 years or older, have a Florida driver’s license and regularly drive on the Selmon Expressway or in the downtown deployment area to qualify. Eligible participating drivers will receive up to a 30% rebate for tolls on the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway, up to a maximum of $550.
Equipment installation and training are free of charge.
THEA says the program “aims to demonstrate the safety, mobility, and environmental benefits of connected vehicle technology.”
Tampa is one of three locations testing the technology as part of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Connected Vehicle Pilot Deployment Program. Other sites include New York City and the Interstate 80 corridor in Wyoming.
THEA is a public agency created by the Florida Legislature to provide local, user-financed transportation services that reinvest revenues back into the Tampa Bay community.