The Tampa-Hillsborough Transit Authority of Tampa Florida provided a public demonstration of its connected vehicle technology research project on Monday.

Pilot testing will begin in 2018. As part of the pilot, 1,600 privately owned vehicles manned by volunteers will be equipped with specialized rear-view mirrors, capable of vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communication using a short-range radio and roof-mounted antenna. This translates to colorful rear view mirror notifications to drivers and nearby drivers, advising on road hazards and changing traffic conditions.

Some of the traffic issues to be addressed include morning traffic backups on westbound express lane traffic, wrong way drivers, and pedestrians on crosswalks. In these instances, each vehicle’s rear-view mirrors will “broadcast” information to nearby connected cars with a driver alert. These broadcasts may fire upon entering an expressway, upon wrong-way driver approach, cars speeding on curves, and other dangerous situations.

In exchange for completing the project, volunteers will be awarded a 30 percent toll rebate for express tolls up to a maximum of $550 in savings per driver.

This $21 million pilot project is part of a larger $45 million initiative by the U.S. Department of Transportation to adopt connected vehicle technologies on its roads, with the program funding pilot projects in Tampa, New York City, and Wyoming to date. In 2015, the U.S. Department of Transportation awarded Tampa $17 million to run the program. By mid-2018, the Tampa-Hillsborough Transit Authority plans to implement its technology on ten buses, ten streetcars, and 1,600 private vehicles.

The pilot project will run from mid-2018 through 2019. To learn if you are eligible to participate, visit Tampa’s Connected Vehicle Pilot website.