Perrone Robotics, in partnership with SAE International, is providing an autonomous vehicle and offering rides to the community in Tampa from May 8 – May 11. Perrone will bring its reference vehicle “Linc”, our 2017 Lincoln MKZ, and will give the public rides on a closed course courtesy of SAE and THEA or Tampa-Hillsborough Expressway Authority.
The stated goal of this event is for SAE International “to understand the public’s attitude toward self-driving technology through this event. Riders will be asked questions before, during and after the ride about their perception and their comfort level with autonomous vehicles. The information gathered will allow SAE International to identify areas to improve public education and understanding of autonomous vehicles.”
We’re setting up a course on the Selmon Expressway operated by THEA which is a bi-directional expressway – heading East-West in the morning and switching over to West-East in the afternoon. They have a series of gates, cameras, and warning signs that provide drivers with guidance as to when the highway switches over in the middle of the day.
This is already interesting enough, but the type of control this agency has over this roadway allows them to do innovative experimentation with connected cars and V2X communication. Perrone Robotics is doing a lot of work in the V2X area for one of our customers in the mining space and we look forward to applying some of this work in the automotive domain with companies like THEA that are putting the technology on the street for trials.
If you’re in Tampa, please stop by. Rides are available via sign up, but you’ll be able to also see a VR demonstration offered by Velodyne allowing you to engage in a Lidar-imaged world, and there will be another autonomous vehicle from a company called Voyage in the parking lot that you can examine throughout the day. Perrone’s Linc vehicle will also be available in the parking lot after 3 PM each day when we have completed that day’s worth of autonomous runs.