The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), the University of Central Florida (UCF), and MetroPlan Orlando are partnering to test intelligent transportation systems technologies in the city of Orlando. The five-year project will be funded by a $11.9 million grant from The Federal Highway Administration.
The group plans to test several technologies on UCF’s main campus and in the community of Pine Hills to see what will best increase pedestrian safety and lessen traffic congestion. Technologies to be tested include:
- PedSafe – that digitally connects vehicles, people and traffic lights to form a pedestrian and bicycle collision avoidance system;
- GreenWay – which uses sensors and advanced traffic signal technology to help motorists adapt to real-time traffic conditions;
- SmartCommunity – a trip planning app that compares current travel times for driving, taking the bus or train, etc.;
- SunStore – FDOT data integration; and, autonomous and connected vehicles.
FDOT will serve as project manager and liaison between state and federal governments, MetroPlan Orlando will make sure projects stay on track with intended objectives, and UCF’s Smart Cities initiative will be integral in data collection and analysis studies.
It is hoped that the project will lead to the creation of technological models that can be deployed throughout the country and at UCF’s planned Creative Village in Downtown Orlando – a technological hub that will host UCF Downtown (opening in 2019).
“Partnerships are powerful,” said Engineering Professor and Chair of the Civil, Environmental and Construction Engineering Department Mohamed Abdel-Aty, who leads the Smart Cities initiative at UCF. “That’s why this is possible. And because UCF is a little city, we are in a good position to test these technologies in real world situations. The goal is to improve pedestrian safety and congestion. We aim to become a showcase for the future.”