USDOT Announces $6.5 Million Funding Opportunity for Innovative Projects That Improve Bus Safety
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Transit Administration (FTA) today announced the availability of $6.5 million in research funding for innovative transit bus automation demonstration projects that will improve safety and efficiency. Examples of bus automation projects might include strategies for avoiding collisions with pedestrians, improved emergency braking, and precision movement for bus fueling, charging and maintenance.
"This funding opportunity demonstrates the Department’s commitment to supporting the use of technology that improves safety for transit riders and workers," said FTA Administrator Nuria Fernandez.
Under the Notice of Funding Opportunity, FTA is making $5 million available for Advanced Driver Assistance Systems for transit buses to help improve bus operator safety and efficiency. Another $1.5 million is available for automated transit bus maintenance operations to improve efficiency and safety in maintenance facilities. As part of its commitment to helping transit workers prepare for technological industry advancements, FTA will look at potential impacts on the workforce as a result of applications submitted through this funding opportunity.
As described in the agency's Strategic Transit Automation Research (STAR) Plan, FTA continues to explore the use of driving automation technologies in bus systems. FTA is funding several demonstrations in real-world settings to determine potential benefits, costs, and other impacts of automation and is providing transit agencies with resources, guidance, and tools to make informed decisions as they consider deploying transit buses with automated features. Research priorities will include exploring how new technology can improve safety by reducing collisions caused by human error, both by bus drivers and other people on the road. Safety is a top priority for the U.S. Department of Transportation, which launched the National Roadway Safety Strategy earlier this year to combat rising numbers of deaths on America’s roads.
Instructions for applying and eligibility information can be found on FTA's website and in GRANTS.GOV (FTA-2022-015-TRI-STAR). Complete proposals must be submitted electronically through the GRANTS.GOV "APPLY" function by November 21, 2022.