USDOT opens applications for third round of SMART grants

May 16, 2024
In the first two rounds of SMART Grants, USDOT awarded $148 million in funding to 93 projects in 39 states, plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) has begun accepting applications for the third year of its Strengthening Mobility and Revolutionizing Transportation (SMART) Grants Program. The competitive grant program, established by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, will fund up to $500 million in grants during five years to conduct demonstration projects focused on advanced smart community technologies and systems that improve transportation safety and efficiency. In the first two rounds of SMART Grants, USDOT selected 93 projects in 39 states, plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, totaling $148 million.  

“The SMART Grant program has helped communities, states and tribes across America deploy new kinds of transportation technology solutions to improve safety and resilience,” said USDOT Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “As the program enters its third year of funding, we’re excited for even more communities to get funding and support to develop technological solutions to their most pressing transportation challenges.” 

Through this SMART Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO), USDOT will accept applications for Stage 1 Planning and Prototyping grants. During Stage 1, the SMART program will fund technology demonstrations and prototypes that solve real-world transportation problems and build data and technology capacity for state, local and Tribal governments. Later this year, recipients of Stage 1 grants will be eligible to expand their projects through the first of several Stage 2 grant opportunities.  

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 

“From Alaska to Maine to Puerto Rico, the SMART program has supported locally driven solutions across the country to make communities safer for all users and more connected and accessible. The popularity of this program demonstrates the demand for purpose-driven technology solutions and we are excited to open the opportunity for another round of applications,” said Dr. Robert C. Hampshire, USDOT deputy assistant secretary for research and technology and chief scientist. 

USDOT says successful projects will create sustainable partnerships across sectors and levels of government, engaging industry, labor, academia and nonprofits to better meet community transportation needs. 

Applications must be submitted on USDOT’s website by 5 p.m. on July 12.