Creating a Connected Community in Central Florida: Successful Projects

Florida is facing a new and ever-changing environment, with an aging population that is becoming increasingly diverse in terms of culture and economics. The demand on the transportation system has never been higher, and Central Florida has one of the highest rates of pedestrian accidents. The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and MetroPlan Orlando are committed to tackling the challenges posed by this growing demand, providing underserved communities with safe transportation options, and improving the safety and mobility of all modes of transportation. Congresswoman Laurel Lee submitted funding requests for important community projects in Florida's 15th district to the House Appropriations Committee. The SmartCommunity proposal is based on a regional focus on the USDOT Smart Cities initiative, which has encouraged community leaders to explore ways to use technology to improve quality of life.

Florida's legislative environment is largely supportive of autonomous and connected vehicle technology. FDOT has invested heavily in services and systems in Central Florida, which form the basis of the grant application, allowing us to match the investment of the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) by 440 percent. Under the guidelines issued by the Committee, each representative can request funding for select projects in their community for fiscal year 2024. One area with unique mobility challenges is East Orlando, home to the University of Central Florida (UCF) and the Central Florida Research Park (CFRP). FDOT has already begun collaborating with the technology community to develop a vision for providing data and services to residents and visitors in Central Florida. The proposed GreenWay program combines Central Florida's active sensing technology (ADT) with elements of Orlando's Smart City initiative to improve multimodal movement of people and goods.

The Central Florida Arterial Operations Contract is designing additional panels to show operational performance. The geographical area of East Orlando was strategically chosen as part of a smart city vision for Central Florida. The hospital there employs more than 500 doctors, provides health care services to more than 80,000 patients a year, and has the busiest emergency department in Central Florida. Hurricane Nicole made landfall as a Category 1 storm in Indian River County before crossing the peninsula and entering the Florida Panhandle before reaching Georgia. Thanks to Bill 7027 from the Florida House of Representatives, the state is now prepared to test CV and AV on public roads.

In an effort to make data available to its citizens in order to achieve a vision of a connected city, Central Florida is launching an open source data platform through a web mapping portal that allows access to data for analysis and reporting. The projects proposed by Congresswoman Lee are part of an effort to create a connected community in Central Florida. By leveraging existing technologies such as ADT, SmartCity initiatives, and open source data platforms, FDOT is working with local leaders to create a safe and efficient transportation system that meets the needs of all residents. Through these projects, FDOT is helping create a more connected community that will benefit everyone in Central Florida.

Erika Teuteberg
Erika Teuteberg

Infuriatingly humble beer maven. General social media fanatic. Passionate beer fan. Unapologetic web fan. Proud pop culture scholar.

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