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Tampa Bay researchers are looking for volunteers to test connected cars. These automobiles would use technology that allow the vehicles talk to each other.

The Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority (THEA) has a project known as the THEA Connected Vehicle Pilot. The goal is to improve driving safety in downtown Tampa. That’s where the volunteers come in!

THEA needs about 300 vehicles to conduct this research. The goal of the program is “demonstrate the safety, mobility, and environmental benefits of connected vehicle technology.” Some of the things the volunteers can experience are the benefits of forward collision warning, wrong-way entry, pedestrian collision warning and more.

So what to Tampa Bay residents need to do to take part in this connected cars research? Drivers must be 18 years or older, have a Florida driver’s license, and regularly drive on the Selmon Expressway or in the downtown area to qualify. This program isn’t for every car. You need to drive a Honda, Acura, Hyundai, Kia or Toyota. THEA will install the research equipment and train you for free.

What do you get out of being a volunteer? You will receive up to a 30% rebate for tolls on the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway, up to a maximum of $550. Interested? Take the survey and find out!

This research study is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Connected Vehicle Pilot Deployment Program. Tampa is one of the three test locations. The other two are New York City and the Interstate 80 corridor in Wyoming.

[SOURCE News Channel 8]

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