As different states and cities make progress towards a future of automated vehicles filling the streets, Tampa is making sure to keep up. On November 27th and 28th of 2018, the University of South Florida’s Center for Urban Transportation, the Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority, and the Florida Department of Transportation hosted the sixth annual Florida Automated Vehicles Summit in downtown Tampa.

Companies deployed their self-driving vehicles in the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway with transportation and technology experts riding as passengers, getting to know what the latest technologies in autonomous vehicles have to offer. The summit was the perfect opportunity for companies to showcase recent advances in technology for self-driving cars and connected vehicles, such as lane assist and real-time traffic connection.

“The world is moving to shared, electric and self-driving. The implications of this shift will have profound impacts on both government and industry,” said State Sen. Jeff Brandes. “The Florida Automated Vehicles Summit provides Florida’s policymakers and transportation leaders to interact with experts in this field.”

Kratos Defense and Security Solutions Inc., a company present in the summit, exhibited its use of automated vehicles for protecting workers on the road by having an automated vehicle behind them. Kratos is also collaborating with the Department of Defense, working on autonomous aerial system solutions and target systems. Another participating company was Perrone Robotics, which is interested in working with public transportation agencies. Perrone impressed the summit’s experts with its level 4 self-driving car. The company showcased its plan to test and deploy the automated vehicle in Charlottesville, Virginia.

The Florida Turnpike and Florida Polytechnic University are also working on making advances in the autonomous driving industry. Along with other partners, they are building a test track facility for self-driving cars in Auburndale, Florida.