Federal funding awarded for technologies to address mobility, access challenges

Jan. 8, 2021

Awards given for Complete Trip - ITS4US Deployment Program and Inclusive Design Challenge

The U.S. DOT this week announced an award of more than $41 million to 15 teams in 15 states through two transportation design challenges to improve transportation access to persons with disabilities and individuals with mobility challenges.

The U.S. DOT awarded over $38 million to 5 awardees through its Complete Trip - ITS4US Deployment Program. The projects will enable communities to showcase innovative business partnerships, technologies, and practices that promote independent mobility for all.

The department says the three-phased effort brings together public-sponsored and private-sponsored research. It also will create large-scale, replicable deployments that generate increased mobility options across multiple modes of transportation to address the challenges of planning and executing complete trips. 

The department also awarded $3 million to 10 semifinalists through its Inclusive Design Challenge. The multi-stage competition seeks design solutions to make autonomous vehicles (AVs) more accessible to persons with disabilities through hardware or software solutions that enable independent use of AVs by persons with disabilities or mobility issues. The 10 projects, each receiving $300,000, will have 18 months to develop their proposed ideas into prototypes. The U.S. DOT will later select three final winners that will receive the remaining $2 million of the $5 million total prize in 2022.

The Complete Trip - ITS4US Deployment Program received 24 eligible proposals by organizations from 15 states. The Inclusive Design Challenge received 47 eligible applications from industry, academic institutions, and individuals representing 21 states. 

The winning teams and projects from both programs can be found on the U.S. DOT website.