THEA Connected Vehicle Pilot now collaborating with auto manufacturers

Agency says collaboration is next step in making connected roadways a reality in Tampa Bay

October 15, 2020
THEA Connected Vehicle Pilot now collaborating with auto manufacturers
Image: Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority

The Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority (THEA) announced it is collaborating with auto manufacturers Honda R&D Americas LLC, Hyundai America Technical Center Inc. (HATCI), and Toyota Motor North America to deploy vehicles with connected vehicle technology already installed. 

THEA says this collaboration is among the first of its kind where multiple OEMs are coming together in an existing Connected Vehicle (CV) deployment. The OEM vehicles will not only interact with one another but also the existing CV Pilot participants. Each of the OEMs has selected DENSO, a leading mobility supplier with over 15 years of vehicle-to-everything (V2X) experience, as its onboard unit (OBU) provider.  Building on the CV Pilot apps, DENSO will develop a common set of CV apps for the OEMs, enabling the rapid communication between vehicles and surrounding infrastructure.

In the past 18 months, the THEA CV Pilot has warned 14 wrong-way drivers on interchange ramps, nine potential trolley crashes, and has given over 1,500-speed advisories a month on freeway exit ramps.

This collaboration with Honda, Hyundai, and Toyota is the next step in making connected roadways a reality in Tampa Bay.  Connecting roadways and infrastructure lays the foundation toward a technology-based transportation system for what THEA says would be a true “Smart City.”

“This next step—integrating multiple auto manufacturers onboard technology, will show how connected vehicle technology can be incorporated into the cars coming off the line,” Bob Frey, Innovation Director and CV Project Manager, said in a statement.

In September 2020, phase 4 of the THEA CV Pilot kicked off to begin the planning for incorporating the OEMs into the pilot. The current plan is for the OEMs to deploy six of the CV Pilot apps. One new app will be added as well. A demonstration showcase will likely be held in Q4 of 2021. At that time, Honda, Hyundai, Toyota, and THEA will highlight how OEM vehicles, equipped with prototype CV technologies, can interact with the CV Pilot vehicles and roadside units.

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SOURCE: Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority

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