USDOT invests $40 million in saving lives with connectivity

Posted: 9 November 2023 | | No comments yet

USDOT’s $40 million grant opportunity aims to advance Vehicle-to-Everything technologies in order to improve road safety and efficiency, while fostering the ambitious goal of nationwide interoperable connectivity.

USDOT invests $40 million in saving lives with connectivity

The U.S. Department of Transportation‘s (USDOT) Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has announced a ground-breaking grant opportunity worth $40 million aimed at advancing connected and interoperable vehicle technologies, fostering road safety, mobility and efficiency.

This initiative, titled “Saving Lives with Connectivity: Accelerating V2X Deployment,” seeks to utilise technology to reduce the number of fatalities on the nation’s roadways by enabling vehicles and wireless devices to communicate with each other and with roadside infrastructure, providing critical warnings to drivers.

Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X) communication is seen as a key component of the Safe System Approach, which had been introduced as part of USDOT’s National Roadway Safety Strategy in January 2022. The Safe System Approach is a comprehensive strategy aimed at addressing the alarming crisis of roadway fatalities in the U.S.

“We can and must use all the tools at our disposal to reduce the devastating loss of life on our nation’s roadways, and technology has a big role to play in that effort,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “Connected vehicle technology has the potential to save lives, and we are proud to provide this funding to help accelerate its development.”   

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This grant opportunity will facilitate the deployment of V2X technologies with the ultimate objective of unlocking their full lifesaving potential. This will be achieved while ensuring secure and interference-free communication across various devices and platforms. Interoperable V2X connectivity will include multiple wireless technologies, enabling communication between mobile devices, in-vehicle systems and roadside infrastructure, providing warnings and alerts related to intersections, red lights, curve speeds and roadway departures.

Federal Highway Administrator Shailen Bhatt said: “V2X connectivity is a critical transformational technology that not only advances safety but also enhances mobility and efficiency. Accelerating V2X deployment now is a crucial step toward saving lives with connectivity. We’re working to make sure that no matter where you drive – truly reliable and seamless connectivity will be in place.”

USDOT also intends to release a draft V2X Deployment Plan in the coming weeks for public comment. This plan will seek feedback from stakeholders to create a collective strategy for the deployment of interoperable connectivity. Stakeholders, including industry experts and the public, will be invited to provide input on the draft plan, with the aim of finalising it in early 2024.

This comprehensive funding opportunity will explore various technological, economic and policy strategies to pave the way for nationwide interoperable connectivity. The overarching goal is to assess risks, overcome challenges and mitigate uncertainties.