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The U.S. Department of Transportation announced the opening of applications for two programs which will make approximately $160 million available annually over the course of five years for projects using technology to improve the nation's transportation infrastructure and make communities safer.
A Sept. 19 DOT news release announced both the Strengthening Mobility and Revolutionizing Transportation (SMART) Grants Program and the Federal Highway Administration's Advanced Transportation Technology and Innovation (ATTAIN) program.
“Achieving our transportation priorities related to safety, economic strength, equity, and climate requires bold investment in new technologies and approaches,” Dr. Robert C. Hampshire, deputy assistant secretary for research and technology and DOT chief science officer, said in the release. “SMART supports a broad portfolio of projects across the country that will serve as beacons as we move toward a transportation system that is data-driven, values-based, and technology-enabled."
The SMART Grants Program is backed by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the release reported. The program will offer up to $100 million in grants annually over the next five years and will fund projects which use data and technology to solve community-based challenges. It will also focus on building data and technology capacities, and it is looking for proposals from public sector entities.
“As we level the playing field and improve the travel experience for everyone, we need to promote the use of state-of-the-art technologies, and the ATTAIN program does just that,” Acting Federal Highway Administrator Stephanie Pollack said in the release. “The Biden-Harris administration has taken a program with a track record of delivering innovation through the use of advanced technologies and made it truly forward-looking by refocusing its goals to include promoting equity and tackling climate change, in addition to creating jobs and delivering positive economic impact.”
The FHA's $60 million ATTAIN program's purpose is to promote advanced technologies to improve safety and reduce travel times for drivers and transit riders, establishing national standards, the release reported.