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Tampa-St. Petersburg, FL

Tampa Bay may test futuristic "smart road" system

In the coming months, downtown Tampa may be host to testing a system of "smart roads." Smart roads have technology to speak to cars using "connected vehicle technology," which can let a vehicle know that a car up ahead is losing control, or warn a driver about a pedestrian crossing the street or an oncoming wrong-way driver. If the program is approved, smart roads capable of turning lights red and green to dynamically control traffic flow will be rolled out in the Channel District. 

Look, no hands

IN AN average month 108,000 people are killed in traffic accidents around the world, and the death toll is increasing. On current trends it will exceed 150,000 people a month by 2020, according to the World Health Organisation, as cars become more widespread in developing countries, increasing the number of vehicles on the world’s roads from around 1 billion in 2010 to 2 billion. Many lives will be spared by outfitting more vehicles with airbags, the biggest lifesavers in car technology since seat belts. But now a far greater revolution in road safety is within reach. Around 90% of accidents are caused by human error. Design vehicles so that they can drive themselves, goes the theory, and death tolls will plummet.