Tampa’s Leroy Selmon Expressway will soon be a testing ground for driverless cars.
It’s one of 10 highways in the country that got the approval for the futuristic experiment.
“Right now we’re just in testing," said Kristine Williams, with USF’s Center for Urban Transportation Research. "There’s a lot that needs to be worked out in terms of how these vehicles are going to operate.”
Williams is also part of USF’s Automated Vehicles Institute, which is a partner in the new revolutionary testing.
It would mean closing down the upper lanes of the Selmon Expressway at certain times of the day to see how automated cars work together on the road.
If the technology worked, it would make a commute to work a much different experience.
“The fully automated system would be drivers could work, play games, watch videos while they’re riding in the vehicle,” said Williams.
There’s no set time frame on when the testing will begin. Williams says the technology is out there, it just needs to be developed.
Industry experts project by 2040, all cars will be fully equipped with the technology.
There are several cars already in U.S. markets that already use autonomous technology. Certain Ford, Audi, and Mercedes models already park themselves.
Researchers with the Center for Urban Transportation say these driverless cars could also cut down on traffic jams and accidents in the future.
The Hillsborough Expressway Authority is behind the movement. Florida is one of only a handful of states that allows testing on existing highways.