Tallahassee, Fla. — The Central Office of the Florida Department of Transportation has selected HNTB Corporation for a three-year automated vehicle support contract. HNTB will support FDOT by working directly with auto manufacturers, related original equipment manufacturers and suppliers on pilot projects, working with universities on automated vehicle research projects, and developing policy to move forward with application testing.

“Florida is one of a handful of states leading the way toward a future where cars talk with one another, the roadway and eventually drive themselves,” said Mike Inabinet, HNTB Southeast Division president. “Connected and automated vehicles will inform drivers and transportation users, making travel safer and more efficient. HNTB is proud to support the Sunshine State as it moves forward with national and international partners and explores how the car of the future will work and be deployed, developing curriculum to nurture local talent, as well as attracting new businesses and innovators to Florida.”

“Big changes on are the horizon for the driving public and those of us in the transportation industry,” said Jim Barbaresso, HNTB national practice leader for intelligent transportation systems. “With automated and connected vehicles being integrated into the marketplace over the next decade, it is foreseeable that available roadway capacity can be greatly increased without adding another inch of pavement.”

“And, because automated and connected vehicles have faster reaction times and are not prone to distracted or impaired driving, there could be a tremendous decrease in vehicle crashes, injuries and fatalities as well,” he added. “Florida is setting the bar for other states across the nation.”

HNTB’s ITS work in Florida also includes consulting with the Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority as it plans fulfilling its role as an affiliate test bed for the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Connected Vehicle Test Bed program, in this case along the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway.

The firm is a recognized leader in the ITS industry, with extensive experience developing transportation, toll and emergency operations centers; traffic management systems; and conducting the latest infrastructure and connected vehicle research. Since 2005, HNTB has been involved in a growing number of projects related to the national Connected Vehicle initiative, including designing and building one of the first live test beds with the Michigan Department of Transportation.