Smart community technologies get USDOT grant funding opportu…

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Dive Brief:

  • The U.S. Department of Transportation is accepting applications for stage 1 of the Strengthening Mobility and Revolutionizing Transportation grants program, which supports advanced smart community technologies and systems that improve transportation safety and efficiency.
  • The $500 million, five-year program, funded by the 2021 infrastructure law, is in its third year, with $148 million having been awarded in the first two rounds to 93 projects in 39 states, D.C. and Puerto Rico.
  • Applications are due by 5 pm Eastern time on July 12, 2024.

Dive Insight:

The SMART discretionary grants enable public sector agencies to undertake demonstration projects in the areas of connected vehicles, delivery and logistics, sensors and traffic signals, smart grids, automation, innovative aviation and systems integration.

“From Alaska to Maine to Puerto Rico, the SMART program has supported locally driven solutions across the country to make communities safer for all users and more connected and accessible,” said Robert Hampshire, deputy assistant secretary for research and technology and chief scientist at USDOT, in a statement.

Previous grants include:

  • A project in New Hampshire uses smart sensors embedded in highway pavement to identify the type of vehicle crossing over them, giving the state data on trucks and commercial vehicles that can help it understand and plan around issues related to safety, health and environmental concerns.
  • The city of Las Vegas is using $1.4 million for an artificial intelligence-driven pedestrian detection system that will adjust traffic signal timing based on pedestrian volumes and speed at an intersection on Fremont Street.
  • In a rural area of Virginia, a nearly $2 million grant is testing the use of drones to deliver medicines to patients who may have difficulty getting to their doctor or pharmacy.

Stage 1 of the new round of funding will go toward “technology demonstrations and prototypes that solve real-world transportation problems and build data and technology capacity for State, local, and Tribal governments,” according to a press release.

The DOT expects that only recipients of stage 1 grants will be eligible for stage 2 implementation grants, which may fund up to $15,000,000 per project.

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