Florida Automated Vehicles

Florida Automated Vehicles / Pilot Projects

Pilot Projects

Picture of vehicles on a highway

    Florida Legislature


    In 2012, Florida was the second state to adopt legislation allowing for automated vehicle testing on public roadways. Read HB 1207


    In 2016, Florida legislation updated the existing laws pertaining to autonomous vehicles. See House Bill 7027 for more information. Read HB 7027


    Autonomous vehicles; operation. Read F.S. 316.85


    Exemption from liability for manufacturer when third party converts vehicle. Read F.S. 316.86


    Assistive truck platooning technology pilot project. Read F.S. 316.0896


    The Florida Automated Vehicles Initiative deploys pilot projects to establish Florida as a leader in the automated vehicle movement. One way that Florida can lead by example is to be an early adopter of the technology itself. The goals of these pilot projects are to:

    • Leverage existing infrastructure to maximize benefits
    • Develop rich dataset that demonstrates quantitative safety and efficiency gains
    • Performance measures
    • Comparative analysis before and after AV/CV technologies are deployed

    Pilot projects provide important data to help the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) justify proposals or amendments to policy, design and engineering standards. Data that illustrates the use of automated vehicles on public roadways is extremely important because these type of data sets for real-world conditions are scarce.

    FDOT is committed to delivering a transportation system that is fatality free. Automated vehicle technologies have the potential to greatly reduce the number of crashes by aiding drivers in making prompt, safe decisions about driving maneuvers, even preventing many accidents without direct driver input (automatic braking, adaptive cruise control, etc.). The focus of the Florida Automated Vehicles Initiatives’ pilot projects are focused on safety and efficiency.


    Assessing Advanced Driver Assistant Systems

    AThe FDOT’s Automated Vehicles Initiative is collaborating with FDOT District 7 to determine if the MobilEye technology provides value in preventing avoidable traffic accidents.

    The crux of the project includes the installation of MobilEye’s Advanced Driver Assistant System (ADAS) on about 50 vehicles in the Tampa Bay area. Study vehicles in this pilot project include FDOT District 7 sedans and light trucks as well as buses, vans, and sedans operated by Hillsborough Area Regional Transit, Tampa Bay Area Regional Transit Agency, Pasco County Public Transportation , and the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority.

    The MobilEye device includes one forward looking camera and a LED display to provide visual and audible warnings to the vehicle operator of eminent forward collisions, lane departure alerts, and pedestrian/bicycle detection. The MobilEye device does not utilize Global Positioning System (GPS) technology and does not track vehicle movement. A telematics system, provided by GeoTab, is installed on each vehicle to measure the effectiveness of MobilEye’s safety enhancements. In order to provide a benchmark for performance measurement (comparative analysis), an additional 50 vehicles received only installation of the GeoTab device.

    If the warnings provided by the MobilEye devices allow FDOT vehicle operators to prevent collisions, thereby reducing costs associated with collisions, ADAS systems may be recommended for wide-scale adoption by FDOT.

    AV/CV/ITS Freight Applications

    The goal of the “AV/CV/ITS Freight Applications” pilot project is to demonstrate that automated vehicle (AV) technologies can offer increased safety and efficiency for freight operations.

    To date, most pilot projects involving AV technologies have been executed in a controlled environment, and data from the few projects that have occurred on public roadways are not available publicly. By coordinating a pilot project centered on the collection of quantifiable data for freight operations, FDOT will be able to help advance the rate of adoption of AV technologies to further enhance trade and commerce for Florida. This pilot project is designed to deliver improved data and performance for all stakeholders involved.

    Perishable freight industry identified as potential early adopter
    • Floral industry is #1 perishable import through Miami International Airport
    • Multi-billion dollar industry
    • Two-thirds of all flowers coming into U.S. are imported through MIA
    • Any increase in efficiency results in increased commerce through Florida

    This pilot project will follow a three-phase approach to measure, deploy and prioritize portions of the perishable-goods delivery supply chain. The perishable freight industry is a significant contributor to the economy of Miami-Dade County. Drayage trips of perishables from Miami International Airport (MIA) operate almost continuously 365 days per year. AV technologies can enhance safety and improve efficiencies of the movement of goods on these highly repetitious freight routes.

    FDOT proposes that travel time reliability can be improved within the region surrounding the MIA by deploying AV technologies on a limited number of drayage operators’ fleet vehicles that agree to partner on the project. Each phase of the pilot project is anticipated to take 6-12 months. Preliminary efforts are underway to coordinate with public partners, engage private stakeholders, identify and measure repetitive delivery routes, and understand existing transportation system operations.

    PHASE 1 — Connected vehicle (CV) technologies will be deployed to allow fleet operators and FDOT to better understand vehicle progression throughout delivery corridors and where bottlenecks occur at traffic signals.

    PHASE 2 — Utilizing the same installed CV devices from Phase 1, the next phase will connect the freight vehicles to traffic signals through the back-end systems at the Miami-Dade County Traffic Management Center.

    PHASE 3 — During non-peak congestion hours (potentially 12 to 5 a.m.), traffic signal priority will be granted to study vehicles in the pilot to improve delivery performance by providing the freight vehicle with a green signal. A preliminary analysis showed that a vehicle leaving MIA, traveling along Northwest 25th Street, with a destination at 1500 NW 70th Ave., resulted in a total travel time of just over 30 minutes (2.5 miles). The same vehicle could make the same trip in 8.5 minutes if given additional green time along this corridor. Reduction in travel time directly results in better on-time delivery performance, as well as savings in fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions.