Under the Connected Vehicle (CV) Pilot Deployment Program, the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) Intelligent Transportation Systems Joint Program Office (ITS JPO) awarded cooperative agreements collectively worth more than $45 million to three pilot sites in New York City, Tampa, and Wyoming to implement a suite of connected vehicle applications and technologies tailored to meet their region’s unique transportation needs.
THEA led the CV Pilot Deployment in Tampa, Florida, which included as a goal the use of CV technology to reduce the risk of collisions. One scenario being targeted in the deployment is detecting and warning wrong-way drivers before they enter the downtown terminus of the REL, which is a potential entry point for wrong-way drivers. To address this, the Pilot implemented a Wrong Way Entry CV application that provides alerts to drivers of vehicles equipped with the CV technology if they attempt to enter the REL from the wrong direction (see Figure 1).
Figure 1: When the driver of a connected vehicle enters the downtown end of the Reversible Express Lanes in the wrong direction, the driver receives an alert. Source: THEA
Another goal of the project was to use the CV technology to reduce collisions with transit vehicles. The TECO Line Streetcar System is an electric trolley line that roughly follows Channelside Drive between downtown Tampa and Ybor City. For the Pilot, THEA equipped eight TECO Line streetcars with onboard devices that enabled them to communicate wirelessly with other connected vehicles and implemented the CV application, Vehicle Turning Right in Front of Transit Vehicle. This application provides a warning to streetcar operators when a vehicle is turning right at an intersection where the streetcar is approaching (see Figure 2). The application also issues an alert to drivers of connected vehicles that are turning right in front of a streetcar.
Figure 2: A streetcar operator receives an alert that a connected vehicle is crossing the track ahead. Source: THEA
Data from these two CV applications and eight others were collected over an 18-month period, from March 2019 – September 2020.
During the 18-month data collection period, the Pilot successfully:
- Warned 14 potential wrong-way drivers on the REL ramps in downtown Tampa
- Provided alerts for nine potential trolley crashes with vehicles
- Issued over 1,500 speed advisories a month to drivers approaching the end of the REL expressway