USDOT Issues $94M via New SMART Grants Program

The U.S. Department of Transportation recently issued $94 million in funding to 59 projects via the first round of grants from the new Strengthening Mobility and Revolutionizing Transportation or “SMART” grants program.

[Above photo by the USDOT]

Funded by the $1.2 trillion infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act or IIJA enacted in November 2021, the new SMART program is set to issue $500 million worth of grants over the next five years to state, local, and tribal governments to help them leverage technology to create safer, more equitable, efficient, and innovative transportation systems.

Image by Alaska DOT&PF

In a statement, the USDOT said the funding will support a wide array of initiatives, with more than few helmed by state departments of transportation, including:

  • The Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities received more than $1.9 million to pilot test the use of drones for infrastructure inspections and gather “situational awareness data” on rural mobility needs.
  • The construction division of the California Department of Transportation is getting more than $430,000 to use drones for construction site condition inspections, especially where bridges are concerned.
  • The Colorado Department of Transportation received over $1.8 million to lead a four-state DOT consortium that will test autonomous truck mounted attenuator or ATMA prototypes designed to shield maintenance personnel in highway work zones from errant motorists. That project will also use the Work Zone Data Exchange or WZDx specification as part of the testing process.
  • The Connecticut Department of Transportation will get $2 million to develop a statewide multimodal public transit fare payment application.
  • The Delaware Department of Transportation received nearly $2 million to deploy cloud-based vehicle-to-everything or V2X technology and optimized signal timing along statewide roadways.
  • The Massachusetts Department of Transportation is getting nearly $2 million to plan, permit, and design a “smart micro-grid” power system at Cape Cod Gateway Airport and another $1.97 million to test the “environmental sensing” capability of drones along Cape Cod.
  • The Michigan Department of Transportation is getting just over $1.3 million to leverage open data standards in order to make real-time public transit information accessible in rural parts of the state and another nearly $2 million to implement a smart corridor “proof-of-concept” for truck-borne goods across Port Huron.
  • North Carolina Department of Transportation received just over $1.5 million to develop “hands free, eyes free” alerts to motorists through existing smartphone applications and connected vehicle navigation systems statewide.
  • The New Jersey Department of Transportation is getting $2 million to develop a “wrong way driver” detection and mitigation system.
  • The Ohio Department of Transportation received $2 million to build two proofs of concept to mitigate, address, and report crashes in Ohio.
  • Texas Department of Transportation in getting $1.9 million to install smart intersection technology featuring visual and auditory devices along streets in College Station, TX.
  • Utah Department of Transportation received just over $1.85 million to develop a “Connected Intersection Corridor” prototype as well as develop a plan for nationwide V2X systems deployment.
  • The West Virginia Department of Transportation is getting $812,000 to deploy a structural health monitoring tool for aging infrastructure in Charleston, WV.
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