Opportunity number
Department of Transportation (DOT)
Due date
November 18, 2022
Big Data Digital Equity Entrepreneurship Information Technologies Innovation Privacy Public Safety Transportation Workforce Development
Project funding
Up to $2M
Program funding
Funding size
Up to $2M

Strengthening Mobility and Revolutionizing Transportation (SMART) Grants Program

RFP Summary provided by the agency

SMART will focus on building data and technology capacity and expertise for State, local, and Tribal governments. Technology investment is most beneficial when tailored to the needs of the community. SMART recognizes that many public sector agencies are challenged to find the resources and personnel to engage with new technologies; this is reflected in the program design, which builds in the time and support needed for projects to succeed. SMART will support and grow a strong, diverse, and local workforce.

The SMART Grants Program funds multiple technology areas, as listed below. Projects must demonstrate at least one technology area and may demonstrate more than one technology area. USDOT will evaluate each application on its merits, and there is no expectation that applications demonstrate more than one technology area. The following technology areas are eligible projects under SMART:

  • Coordinated Automation – use of AVs and automated transportation while minimizing impact to other modes and the accessibility of all users
  • Connected Vehicles – vehicles that utilize V2V and/or V2E communications to provide advanced and reliable connectivity. Provide benefits in the near term.
  • Intelligent Sensors – Deployment and use of sensors for real time data that informs operations and performance.
  • Systems Integration – Integration with existing systems and other advanced transportation technologies.
  • Commerce Delivery/logistics – Connected vehicle probe data, road weather data or GPS data to improve pickup and delivery, improve travel time reliability, reduce fuel consumption and emissions, reduce labor and vehicle maintenance costs.
  • Innovative aviation – to support transportation safety and efficiencies including traffic monitoring and infrastructure inspection.
  • Smart Grid – efficient energy transmission that supports the adoption/expansion of energy capture, EV deployment or fleet efficiency.
  • Traffic Signals – Improving the management and functioning of signals through Automation, Replacements and Upgrades.

Successful projects will seek to build sustainable partnerships across sectors and levels of government as well as collaborate with industry, academia, nonprofits, and other traditional and non-traditional partners.

Potential applicants are encouraged to review the application instructions and review resources to help develop and refine project ideas and complete the application.


  1. Getting Ready for SMART Grants (July 28, 2022) – Watch the Recording – Passcode: gc0&T@Z4
  2. How to Apply for a SMART Grant – September 29, 2022, 2:30 PM-4:00 PM ET

    The upcoming webinar will include details about the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) and the application process.

    Register here.

What is the mission and focus of the program: research, social, economic or others?

Projects funded by the SMART Grants Program use advanced data, technology, and applications to provide significant benefits to a local area, a State, a region, or the United States. These benefits are those that align to the following categories:

  • Safety and reliability: Improve the safety of systems for pedestrians, bicyclists, and the broader traveling public. Improve emergency response.
  • Resiliency: Increase the reliability and resiliency of the transportation system, including cybersecurity and resiliency to climate change effects.
  • Equity and access: Connect or expand access for underserved or disadvantaged populations. Improve access to jobs, education, and essential services.
  • Climate: Reduce congestion and/or air pollution, including greenhouse gases. Improve energy efficiency.
  • Partnerships: Contribute to economic competitiveness and incentivize private sector investments or partnerships, including technical and financial commitments on the proposed solution. Demonstrate committed leadership and capacity from the applicant, partners, and community.
  • Integration: Improve integration of systems and promote connectivity of infrastructure, connected vehicles, pedestrians, bicyclists, and the broader traveling public.
  • Fit, scale, and adoption: Right-size the proposed solution to population density and demographics, the physical attributes of the community and transportation system, and the transportation needs of the community. Confirm technologies are capable of being integrated with existing transportation systems, including transit. Leverage technologies in repeatable ways that can be scaled and adopted by communities.
  • Data sharing, cybersecurity, and privacy: Promote public and private sharing of data and best practices and the use of open platforms, open data formats, technology-neutral requirements, and interoperability. Promote industry best practices regarding cybersecurity and technology standards. Safeguard individual privacy.
  • Workforce development: Promote a skilled and inclusive workforce.
  • Measurement and validation: Allow for the measurement and validation of the cost savings and performance improvements associated with the installation and use of smart city or community technologies and practices.

How do you submit to this opportunity?

The complete application must be submitted via Valid Eval, an online submission proposal system used by USDOT at https://usg.valideval.com/teams/USDOT_SMART_2022/signup.

Who are the target applicants: cities, universities, companies, small business, nonprofits, or others?

  • a State
  • a political subdivision of a State
  • a federally recognized Tribal government
  • a public transit agency or authority
  • a public toll authority
  • a metropolitan planning organization; or
  • a group of two or more eligible entities listed above

Eligible entities may choose to collaborate across different regions or geographies on projects with similar characteristics, addressing similar problems and with similar technologies, potentially sharing common resources such as partnerships with industry, nonprofits, academic institutions, or community foundations. If these entities choose not to apply as a group with a single lead applicant, they should identify their application as a collaborative application.

  • Each organization in a collaborative application must submit an individual application.
  • Collaborative applications can include any type of eligible entity.
  • Each individual application in a collaborative application will be evaluated on its own merits and USDOT reserves the right to fund all, some, or none of the associated applications, with the same anticipated funding (i.e., up to $2,000,000 per individual award).

Example project(s) summaries from NOFO:

Full list of Illustrative Use Cases here

Safety and Reliability

  • Increase worker safety and reduce crashes and traffic incidents using work zone safety technologies such as automated crash attenuators that leverage Advanced Driving Systems (ADS).
  • Improve safety and reduce costs related to minor collisions with Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) for public fleet vehicles like transit buses and emergency vehicles, including functions like precision docking; lane keeping or lane centering; and/or bus on shoulder operations.
  • Improve state-of-good-repair, reduce costs, and improve safety with the use of sensors, small UAS, or other technologies to enhance infrastructure inspection and asset management processes.

Equity and Access

  • Get reduced-fare transit to people who need it by streamlining income-based transit fare programs by integrating back-end databases with other social service programs.
  • Improve infrastructure for all by using technology to assess infrastructure that supports mobility, including sidewalks, bus shelters, bike lanes, and curb cuts.
  • Improve equity with the integration of climate, public health, and socioeconomic data into transportation operations.

Climate and Resiliency

  • Reduce port gate congestion and truck-related emissions with truck reservation systems at ports and intermodal container yards.
  • Support local goals such as zero-emission zones or shared streets with digital tools to manage alternative approaches to last-mile delivery.
  • Increase grid capacity or offer power into the grid during peaks or outages with the deployment of Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) technologies.


  • Support local economies, improve mobility, and reduce congestion by digitalization of curb management to optimize use across purposes and modes, including freight, pick-up drop-off, and transit usage.
  • Facilitate on-demand conversion of right-of-way for pedestrians and cyclists with adaptable smart infrastructure.
  • Improve operations and maintenance by using sensors to monitor real-time conditions of pavement quality, signage, and crosswalks.

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