USDOT announces $160 million for technology to improve transportation infrastructure
USDOT’s latest grant will fund projects that use data and technology to improve the country’s transportation infrastructure and safety, as well as reduce travel times for drivers and transit riders.
The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) has announced that it is accepting applications for two programmes that will make approximately $160 million available annually for the next five years for projects that use technology to improve the country’s transportation infrastructure and make communities safer.
The first programme is the new Strengthening Mobility and Revolutionizing Transportation (SMART) Grants Program. Provided as part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the programme will offer up to $100 million in grants annually over the next five years and will fund projects that use data and technology to solve real-world challenges facing communities today.
“As we undertake the most ambitious infrastructure investment in generations, thanks to the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we can and must plan for the transportation needs of the future,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “From connected vehicles that make driving safer, to smart traffic signals that reduce congestion, to sensors to detect the quality of pavement to help prioritise repair, our SMART grants will fund technology that makes people’s lives better in communities across America.”
The SMART programme will fund purpose-driven innovation and focus on building data and technology capacity and expertise. The programme seeks proposals from public sector entities that will carry out demonstration projects in the following domains to address key transportation priorities:
- Vehicle technology, like automation and connectivity
- Systems innovation, like delivery and logistics, traffic signals, smart grid and data integration
- New ways to monitor and manage infrastructure, like sensors and UAS.
“Achieving our transportation priorities related to safety, economic strength, equity and climate requires bold investment in new technologies and approaches,” said Dr. Robert C. Hampshire, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology and Chief Science Officer at USDOT. “SMART supports a broad portfolio of projects across the country that will serve as beacons as we move toward a transportation system that is data-driven, values-based and technology-enabled.
The second is the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) $60 million Advanced Transportation Technology and Innovation (ATTAIN) programme to promote advanced technologies to improve safety and reduce travel times for drivers and transit riders and that can serve as national examples.
As a result of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, ATTAIN-eligible projects will be evaluated on how they consider climate change and environmental justice impacts – including how they reduce transportation-related air pollution and address the disproportionate impacts on disadvantaged communities. In addition, projects are evaluated on their economic impact and potential to create jobs.
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