SOUTH OZONE PARK — On an empty parking lot behind the Aqueduct Racetrack this week, the Department of Transportation is test driving the future.
The city agency teamed up with eight manufacturers building Connected Vehicle technology to test drive a collection of wired cars Wednesday, as part of a $20 million federal pilot program that should be ready in a year and a half and will be added to 10,000 city vehicles.
With the wireless technology, cars can "talk" to one another and lets the driver know when they're driving too fast, if another car is approaching, if they can make the upcoming light and more, officials said.
In the future, there will be pedestrian detection as well, the DOT said, although they didn't have an immediate timeframe.
The technology will help with some common and dangerous behavior, like driving through red lights. Depending on a driver's speed, drivers can be told if they can make the light — and adjust their driving, the DOT's directors of systems engineering, John Tipaldo, said before the test runs.
It will also assist in making intersections safer, according to Mohamad Talas, who works in the Intelligent Transportation System at the DOT.
"The technology allows that both vehicles alert each other that they are coming to that intersection," he said.
New York City was awarded a share of the federal dollars last year, along with Wyoming and Tampa, Florida.