It's been said that automated vehicles are the car of the future - and always will be. But technology has been advancing so much recently that it won't likely be too long before our cars are driving us.
We haven't quite reached the point where you can take your hands off the steering wheel and do your own thing while the car drives itself. But at the Florida Automated Vehicles Summit in Tampa, several speakers touted what is already being done. Like having sensors that keeps your vehicle several car lengths behind that truck in front of you. Or senses that tricycle in the driveway as you back up.
But Anath Prasad, secretary of the Florida Department of Transportation, says that's just the beginning.
"When you're talking about automated vehicles, some people may think that this technology is only in our dreams. Or maybe wary of the new advancements," he told the audience at the Tampa Marriott Waterside. "However, the reality is that the advancement in sensor technology - combined with advanced software - has moved society closer to self-driving modes of vehicle transportation."
During the event, the University of South Florida announced the formation of its new Automated Vehicle Institute, at the Center for Urban Transportation Research. They'll help local planning agencies pave the way for innovations in making our life behind the wheel a little easier.
The Automated Vehicle Institute will help metropolitan/transportation planning organizations in long-range transportation planning, including:
• Providing transit agencies, expressway authorities, and transportation stakeholders with policy, planning, and research solutions
• Providing public awareness, market research, and outreach services helping the new industry navigate complex legislative, policy and planning issues.
• Acting as a clearinghouse, catalyst and connector to the Automated and Connected Vehicles professional communities.