A bold new approach in transportation research and testing is now happening in Florida. Recently, the University of Florida (UF), the City of Gainesville and the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) have formed a partnership to further research on transportation. Considered as a “smart testbed” of ideas, the research will make use of Gainesville for the real world data and research.
UF and FDOT have been working together on multiple transportation research projects for several years. The new researches will be in the evolving fields of connected and autonomous vehicles, the use of sensors and of smart devices. Of particular interest is in integrating these technologies for new applications in transportation.
The Gainesville neighborhoods along the UF campus will be used to test these new ideas, reports said. The area itself is well-suited for the testing as there is an existing transport network considered as one of the most heavily used in Florida, as well as facilities for bicycle, mopeds and scooters, with low road speeds, and plenty of pedestrians.
This is the first time a university, a state DOT and a city have signed on to a project program in Florida. Transportation projects, as a general rule, need real-world testbeds in order to validate new approaches to solve traffic solutions. It is expected to greatly benefit the community, UF students and Gainesville residents. The researches are also going to have a huge effect on other urban areas in the country. These are the same pressures and challenges being experienced elsewhere, and the aim is to come up with bold solutions which are flexible for adoption in other cities.
The FDOT is providing the funding for the program. UF officials, and staff from the UF Transportation Institute are at the early stages of the program, where they are reviewing literature related to transportation. The various researches will be based on the studies from earlier programs and will be integral in developing better and more advanced transportation for the future.