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July 7, 2020 9:15 AM, EDT

FHWA Announces Funding Opportunity for Technology Grants

Port of VirginiaA past award went to the Port of Virginia for a truck reservation system. (Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg News)

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The Federal Highway Administration recently announced the availability of $60 million in grant funding for groups working on projects that involve transportation technologies.

FHWA on July 6 announced the Notice of Funding Opportunity, made possible through the Advanced Transportation and Congestion Management Technologies Deployment Program. The program funds the early deployments of technologies that are meant to improve transportation systems.

State departments of transportation, local government groups, transit agencies and metropolitan planning organizations are eligible to apply. According to the Notice of Funding Opportunity synopsis, the closing date for applications is Aug. 31. Partnerships with private sector groups are encouraged.

Nicole Nason

This program helps unleash technological potential to improve travel for all Americans.

 FHWA Administrator Nicole Nason

“These grants promote the use of advanced technologies to address critical safety issues and efficiency throughout our nation’s transportation network,” FHWA Administrator Nicole Nason said. “This program helps unleash technological potential to improve travel for all Americans.”

The program was created under the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act of 2015. The projects supported by the program are meant to improve travel for commuters, reduce congestion and serve as national models for other states and metropolitan areas.

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Now in its fifth year, the program has provided more than $206 million for projects in 23 states and the District of Columbia, according to FHWA. Past awardees include the Texas Department of Transportation, which partnered with officials in Arizona, California and New Mexico to create a truck parking availability system along Interstate 10, and the Virginia Port Authority, which developed a truck reservation system.

FHWA announced the recipients of the most recent round of Advanced Transportation and Congestion Management Technologies Deployment program funding June 16. Some $43.4 million was distributed to various projects, including cellular vehicle-to-everything (V2X) technology in Hawaii and the I-4 Florida’s Regional Advanced Mobility Elements (FRAME) project, an integrated corridor management effort that spans from Tampa to Orlando.

One grant, for $4.4 million, was awarded to a team of partners including the Indiana and Ohio departments of transportation to support an automated truck corridor. Besides INDOT and ODOT, the team includes the Transportation Research Center and DriveOhio. The funding will support the Interstate 70 Truck Automation Corridor project, which will involve the deployment of smart logistics technology along a segment of I-70 between Indianapolis and Columbus.

Specifically, the project will allow freight companies and truck automation vendors to use partially automated driving technology in daily operations on this stretch of I-70 between the cities, which spans about 175 miles.

“Connected and autonomous driving technology is revolutionizing how we move people and products across our country,” INDOT Commissioner Joe McGuinness said in a statement. “Indiana and Ohio are proud to partner with U.S. DOT to lead in the deployment of technology in a multistate highway corridor that will guide the future of automated driving and freight movement.”

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