Transportation Innovation

ITS, TSM&O, AV, CV…there are hundreds of acronyms floating through the transportation industry with the hopes that one, or a combination of several, will help provide congestion relief and system reliability in the Tampa Bay region.  FDOT District Seven anticipates the long-term benefits of innovation will be a game-changer for the region.  Through strong partnerships with our local agencies and community, we are actively researching ways to incorporate smart technology solutions and collaborate on best practices.

Not only are vehicles getting smarter with connected and autonomous vehicles, but there are innovations that we can apply to make our infrastructure smarter, better connected to the adjacent city and county networks, and more sustainable.   We are looking at how techniques like ramp metering, adaptive signal and lane control, and hard shoulder running could help us get the most out of our existing freeways and arterials, while the local agencies are continuously looking at ways to improve the local streets.  In addition, we are looking at ways to incorporate renewable energy sources, like solar, in to our roadway and trail designs.

Transportation Innovation

We understand the importance of a truly integrated and intelligent transportation network.  There are numerous existing technologies that we can use to create a seamless system, but it will require a shift in traditional thinking and a bold, comprehensive vision.  Only through strong partnerships can we continue to explore these opportunities and formulate a plan of action that elevates the transportation system in the Tampa Bay area.

Transportation Innovation
Transportation Innovation Image
Wrong Way Driver Alert Signage

Here are a few of our ongoing efforts:

SunTrax

This is a 400-acre site that will include a 2.25-mile long oval track, which will provide an opportunity for the testing of a multitude of different technologies in a variety of simulated environments.

Autonomous Shuttle Pilot Project

FDOT is partnering with HART to initiate the first autonomous shuttle service in this area.  The service will run along the Marion Transitway in downtown Tampa and service will begin in late 2017.

Downtowner Shuttle Pilot Project

In conjunction with the Tampa Downtown Partnership, Hillsborough MPO, and the City of Tampa, we have funded a portion of the Downtowner, which is an app-based service that provides free, on-demand rides around downtown.  This service began in Fall 2016 and has experienced great success.

Solar Roadways Research Project

In partnership with the University of Florida, we are researching solar panels that not only harness energy, but are traffic-bearing as well.  This energy can be used to illuminate nearby lighting, and possibly even provide power to electric vehicles that run over the panels in the future. In addition, the panels can provided illuminated street markings that can be modified based on travel demand.

Wrong-way Driving Detection

Since Spring 2015, we have partnered with USF’s Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR) and FHWA to study the effects of using technology to alert wrong way drivers.  As a result, we have installed Rapid Rectangular Flashing Beacons at interstate off-ramps equipped with radar technology and video cameras to identify errant vehicles and alert the District’s Traffic Management Center.

The Florida Department of Transportation is required to comply with various non-discrimination laws and regulations, including Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Public participation is solicited without regard to race, color, national origin, age, sex, religion, disability, or family status.