The self-driving trucks will be tested on the elevated reversible lanes of the expressway from Monday through Wednesday of this week between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. each day, according to a report from the Tampa Bay Times.
These automated vehicle (AV) tests are being conducted by Starsky Robotics. A human driver will remain behind the wheel as a safety precaution as the tests are carried out. The autonomous software in the trucks is designed to control the vehicles' acceleration, braking and steering.
The Selmon Expressway is no stranger to self-driving vehicles, as the roadway first had testing for AVs in 2014 conducted by auto manufacturer Audi. At the time, the expressway was considered a place to lead the push toward AV adoption after being named one of 10 test sites nationwide for implementing autonomous technology.
Later on, Tampa received a $2.4 mililon federal contract to test next-generation AV technology. The federal contract was given to four cities nationwide, and was given to Tampa in hopes of improving traffic flow in the city. The $2.4 million was the first installment in a three-stage process which could potentially amount to $17 million, according to the Times.
Source: Tampa Bay Times