FDOT testing technology that could one day talk to your car

At two intersections in Orange County, there’s a new camera, translators and transmitters. It’s new technology that FDOT says will soon be able to talk to your car.

The little cameras at East Colonial Drive and Murdock Boulevard in Orange County are actually lasers scanning for pedestrians, gathering information about who’s walking where. 

They transmit that data to cabinets on the corner. The car technology is still a few years away, but FDOT says once it’s here all that information will then be sent to the cars driving through, alerting drivers with flashing lights, chimes through the speakers or even seat vibrations that someone is nearby.

“That one time when they’re looking at their cellphone when they shouldn’t be, when they’re not seeing a pedestrian, they get that alert that comes up, they hit their breaks, it avoids the crash and then the entire system was worth it,” said FDOT program engineer Jeremy Dilmore.

Most people walking through this area, they don’t know that there are sensors and lasers capturing information about them and sending it out elsewhere. It’s technology. Privacy’s a concern. 

FDOT says they’ve thought about that. 

“We do see activity on our firewall where we do see folks trying to get into this system. That’s why we have security in place,” Dilmore said. 

That security includes securing the cabinets, disabling ports inside and running encryption on the system. 

FDOT says the system does not follow pedestrians from intersection to intersection.

FDOT is testing the system at two locations for a couple of months, preparing for when the technology inside the cars catches up to the technology on the streets.