Tampa, US is piloting AVs
Florida communities have long experimented with new mobility technologies to increase their appeal to both visitors and retirees, and Tampa is fast becoming a focal point for AV innovation in the Sunshine State. In 2016 and 2017, the city hosted the Florida Automated Vehicles Summit (which celebrated its fifth annual meeting in 2017), setting the stage for an upcoming driverless shuttle pilot.
Tampa’s pilot will put a single driverless shuttle into transit service along a one-mile stretch of the city’s Marion Street corridor. While the thoroughfare is restricted to bus and emergency vehicles during daytime hours, officials tout the pilot as the first ongoing deployment of shared AVs on public roads in mixed traffic.
The project is a partnership between HART, the Tampa area’s transit authority, and the Florida Department of Transportation, which is providing $500,000 in annual subsidies. HART hopes that the service act as a catalyst for further automation of Tampa’s transit system, which currently boasts some 200 full-size conventional buses. Project design and management will be provided by Statec, an engineering services firm, with vehicles provided by Coast Autonomous of Pasadena, California.
2018-01-08: The Tampa Bay Times reports that HART officials have suspended the driverless shuttle project pending resolution of a dispute with contractor Stantec. link