Business, Freight News, Logistics

DOT Awards Transport Technology Grants

[ March 22, 2024   //   ]

The U.S. Department of Transportation has awarded more than US$50 million in grant awards for 34 technology demonstration projects in the U.S. through the Strengthening Mobility and Revolutionizing Transportation, or SMART Grants Program.
Part of President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the program will provide US$500 million over five years for state, local and tribal governments to leverage advances in technology to create safer, more efficient and more innovative transportation systems.
The awarded projects are part of the President’s Investing in America agenda and encompasses locations across 22 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. It is the second year for the SMART grants program for which the department received 321 eligible grant applications. The average amount of funding requested was nearly US$1.6 million.
“Today’s funding will help 34 communities across the country advance innovative solutions for better rail crossings, safer road intersections, improved transit accessibility, and more,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.

Selected Projects

Projects selected by the DOT focus on how various technologies make transportation safer, cleaner, more equitable, and more affordable across the country in both rural and urban settings:

  • Projects including the City of Chattanooga, Tennessee; Charleston, South Carolina; and the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation in Washington, focus on using connected vehicle and smart roadside sensors to improve safety for drivers, pedestrians, and other road users on urban streets and rural highways.
  • In Wyoming and Maryland, statewide highway projects will address work zone safety for highway crews through data sharing and speed management.
  • Talladega, Alabama, will deploy smart traffic signals and sensors near the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind to detect and protect pedestrians.
  • Projects in Denver, Colorado and Contra Costa County, California, will streamline and unify dozens of disparate paratransit providers and systems to make them more accessible.
  • Building on last year’s uncrewed aerial systems (UAS) grants, two new projects in the southern Allegheny mountains in Pennsylvania and the eastern shore of Maryland will use UAS to deliver emergency and chronic medical supplies to remote areas.
  • In Canovanas, Puerto Rico, and Broward County, Florida, projects will build new digital models of transportation infrastructure to better predict and track maintenance, target improvements, and communicate with the public – especially around storms, flooding, and other weather impacts.
    The SMART Grants Program is a two-stage program, with these grant awards focusing on Stage 1 activities, including Planning and Prototyping. Recipients will focus on conducting demonstration projects focused on advanced smart community technologies and systems to improve transportation efficiency and safety.

A map showing approved SMART Projects. CHART: U.S. Department of Transportation