A pilot out of Tampa, Fla., is bringing three automakers together in a unique collaboration to test connected vehicles.

Honda R&D Americas, Hyundai America Technical Center Inc. and Toyota Motor North America will participate in a pilot program run by the Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority, the companies announced Thursday.

The authority has worked with the U.S. Department of Transportation since 2015 as a connected-vehicle pilot site. The authority has been conducting its tests in downtown Tampa by adding wireless technology to buses, streetcars and the vehicles of more than 1,000 volunteers. Now, working with automakers, it will deploy vehicles already equipped with connectivity features.

The automakers will interact with one another and existing connected-vehicle pilot participants in their deployment. Supplier Denso will provide the on-board units for all three companies and will develop a “common set of CV apps” for them to enable vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication, according to a statement.

“Toyota is excited to support the V2X [vehicle-to-everything] deployment initiative in Tampa because realization of cooperative transportation systems, with V2X technologies, is important for creating a more safe and eco-friendly mobility future,” said Jeff Makarewicz, group vice president – advanced mobility research and development.

The collaboration is crucial to making connected roadways in the Tampa Bay area a reality, according to the statement.

“This next step, integrating multiple auto manufacturers’ on-board technology, will show how connected-vehicle technology can be incorporated into the cars coming off the line,” Bob Frey, innovation director for the Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority and manager of the connected-vehicle project, said in the statement.

Honda has V2X-focused projects outside of Florida, including a smart intersection in Marysville, Ohio.



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