Transportation Department’s SMART grants program enters third year

May 15, 2024

The Department of Transportation is entering the third year of a program that seeks to solve transportation problems such as fuel consumption, pollution and congestion.

DOT is now accepting applications for its Strengthening Mobility and Revolutionizing Transportation (SMART) grants program. The five-year program will fund up to $500 million in grants to conduct demonstrations and build prototypes.

Over the first two years of the program, DOT selected 93 projects totaling $148 million in 39 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

The grants will be awarded to state, local and tribal governments looking to carry out transportation projects that demonstrate at least one of the following technology areas, the DOT said:

  • Coordinated automation.
  • Connected vehicles.
  • Sensors.
  • Systems integration.
  • Delivery/logistics.
  • Innovative aviation.
  • Smart grid.
  • Traffic signals.

The funding opportunity can be found on the SMART grants program website and will be posted on later this week, the DOT said. The DOT will hold a webinar to provide application help May 28.

Applications are due July 12.

“The SMART Grant program has helped communities, states, and tribes across America deploy new kinds of transportation technology solutions to improve safety and resilience,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said.

Prototypes receiving funding last year include:

  • $2 million to the New York State Metropolitan Transportation Authority for an integrated railcar inspection system that would utilize a suite of sensors and software systems to create automated alerts of undesirable conditions.
  • $1.7 million to the Maryland Department of Planning for an uncrewed aircraft system that would deploy uncrewed aerial systems to provide medical package deliveries to residents on the Eastern Shore and islands in the Chesapeake Bay.
  • $1.7 million to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation to pilot a system for curve speed warnings to drivers via cellular network.
  • $1.4 million to the City of Bellevue, Washington, for sensors and smart traffic signals to make real-time safety improvements at intersections. The project focused on elderly pedestrians.

Photo by Grace Dadson on Unsplash

Miles Smith

Miles Smith has more than two decades of communications experience in the public and private sectors, including several years of covering local governments for various daily and weekly print publications. His scope of work includes handling public relations for large private-sector corporations and managing public-facing communications for local governments.

Smith has recently joined the team as a content writer for SPI’s news publications, which include Texas Government Insider, Government Contracting Pipeline and its newest digital product, Government Market News, which launched in September 2023. He graduated from Texas A&M University with a bachelor’s in journalism.

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