Siemens and NXP demonstrate connected vehicle technology in Tampa, Florida

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As a precursor to the upcoming Tampa-Hillsborough Expressway Authority (THEA) and US Department of Transportation (USDOT) connected vehicle (CV) pilot project, Siemens and NXP Semiconductors have hosted live CV demonstrations in downtown Tampa in conjunction with the Florida Autonomous Vehicle Summit.

For the demonstrations, participants were driven around the half-mile course to experience how CV and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) technologies work in a real-world setting. The test vehicle demonstrated CV technology including ‘green light driving’ scenarios, where drivers can adjust their speed in order to make it safely through an intersection. The technologies demonstrated reflect some of the systems that Tampa will feature as part of the THEA-USDOT CV pilot project. Siemens, as a member of the THEA team, has been chosen by the USDOT to provide innovative vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) technology for the new CV pilot.

Siemens V2I technology will enable vehicles and pedestrians to communicate with traffic infrastructure, such as intersections and traffic lights, in real time to reduce congestion, specifically during peak rush hour in downtown Tampa. The technology will also significantly help improve safety and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This is one of three projects funded by the USDOT to pilot next-generation technology in infrastructure and vehicles that can impact unimpaired vehicle crashes, which currently make up 80% of the crashes on the road. The CV Pilot Program, now moving into Phase 2, which includes design and deployment, and aims to improve rush hour safety and congestion.

Phase 2 aims to demonstrate:

Rush hour safety and congestion relief – CV technology will help prevent crashes on the reversible express lanes (REL) during peak travel times, by alerting drivers of hazards on the road ahead; Wrong-way drivers – Onboard units (OBUs) will alert drivers who are attempting to enter the REL in the wrong direction, and will warn drivers when a wrong-way driver has entered the roadway; Pedestrian safety – Many crosswalks will be equipped with roadside units to warn oncoming drivers when a pedestrian is present in the crosswalk, and participating pedestrians will also receive warnings on their smartphones; Improved safety and on-time performance for public transit – Connected buses will communicate with traffic signals to receive priority in order to arrive on time, and streetcar operators will receive warnings when a driver or pedestrian is attempting to cross the track; Traffic Monitoring – Downtown Tampa’s transportation management center will use CV data to improve traffic flow in real time.

As part of Phase 2, THEA plans to recruit volunteer drivers beginning in the autumn of 2017 to participate in the pilot. After approximately 20 months, the project will enter a third, 18-month operational phase to be concluded in late 2019.

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International magazine and the Traffic Technology Today website since he joined the company in May 2014. Prior to this he worked on some of the UK's leading consumer magazine titles including Men's Health and Glamour, beginning his career in journalism in 1997 after graduating with a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).

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