USDOT Announces Second Year of SMART Grants

Aug. 9, 2023
Program will fund up to $500 million in grants over five years.

The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) announced in a press release yesterday that it is accepting applications for the second year of its Strengthening Mobility and Revolutionizing Transportation (SMART) Grants Program.

The SMART Grants Program was made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and will fund up to $500 million in grants over five years to conduct demonstration projects focused on advanced smart community technologies and systems that improve transportation efficiency and safety.

“New technologies like connected vehicles, smart traffic signals, and more have the potential to make our transportation system dramatically safer and more efficient, yet many public sector agencies aren’t equipped to harness the full potential of these innovations,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. 

“Our SMART program helps give State, local, and Tribal governments the resources they need to find technological solutions to some of their most pressing transportation challenges.”

This SMART Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) will accept applications for Stage 1 Planning and Prototyping grants. During Stage 1, the SMART program seeks to fund innovation aimed at solving real-world transportation problems and focused on building data and technology capacity and experience for State, local, and Tribal governments.

The program also recognizes that many public sector transportation agencies face challenges finding the resources and personnel to leverage new technologies; so, the program builds in the time and support to enable successful deployment. 

The funding opportunity is open to public sector entities seeking to carry out transportation projects that demonstrate at least one of the following technology areas:

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

“The Department is investing in new technology solutions that make our transportation systems safer and more efficient. Last year’s inaugural SMART grants reflected this dynamic, centering on solutions in areas like safety, transit innovation, and managing public space, addressing pressing challenges in communities with right-sized innovations,” said Dr. Robert C. Hampshire, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology and Chief Scientist at USDOT. 

Successful projects will create sustainable partnerships across sectors and levels of governments engaging industry, labor, academia, and nonprofits to better meet community transportation needs.

The NOFO is open now and can be found on the SMART Grants Program website