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Feds Make Connected-Car Projects a Priority with Major Grants

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Feds Make Connected-Car Projects a Priority with Major Grants Feds Make Connected-Car Projects a Priority with Major Grants

Feds Make Connected-Car Projects a Priority with Major Grants

In Pittsburgh, city transportation officials are expanding a program that tests adaptive traffic lights, which combine artificial intelligence and real-time sensor data to adjust signals in a way that improves traffic flow.
In San Francisco, transit leaders are examining how variable-priced tolling on the San Francisco?Oakland Bay Bridge might reduce congestion and figuring out how to prioritize commuters who use nearby carpool and ride-share pickup areas.
In suburban Columbus, Ohio, workers are installing road sensors and retrofitting school buses, snowplows, and other government vehicles with connected technology that allows them to share real-time information on road conditions and critical safety concerns.
These three projects and a dozen or so others are part of the latest push from the U.S. Department of Transportation to promote advanced technology. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx greenlighted $65 million in new federal grants last week that fund those efforts, making the announcement at The White House Frontiers Conference in Pittsburgh.
The latest group of grants will be divided among two programs. Eight fall into the advanced transportation technology program, which hands out $56.5 million for projects that are designed to relieve congestion or link poorer neighborhoods with employment opportunities, education, and health services. A separate program, the Mobility on Demand Sandbox, provides almost $8 million for 11 projects that will use smartphone apps and open-data platforms to better connect transit riders with their destinations, sometimes by partnering with ride- and bike-sharing companies. All of this activity is an outgrowth from the DOT?s Smart City Challenge, which called on municipal leaders to present detailed plans earlier this year for how technology could improve their transportation networks and deliver larger societal benefits. Unsure what sort of response to expect for the first-of-its-kind competition, federal officials were bowled over when 78 cities from across the United States submitted bids.

?The challenge is how do you integrate a drastically bigger population in a smaller space, and what kind of pressure points does that put on transportation.?
? Anthony Foxx, Secretary of Transportation

If a downside emerged, it was that the DOT could only select one winning bid. Although Columbus, Ohio, eventually won the $40 million in federal grants and other associated benefits, Foxx and others didn?t want momentum in other cities to fade. Rather than awarding all the money to a single city this time, the DOT spread the money around to 19 specific projects, many of which sprung up in the Smart City applications.
Pittsburgh, one of seven finalists from the inaugural competition, will receive $10.9 million to continue and expand Surtrac, its adaptive traffic-light pilot that it runs in conjunction with Carnegie Mellon University, where Foxx made his announcement last week. Already deployed at 50 intersections...
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Feds Make Connected-Car Projects a Priority with Major Grants Feds Make Connected-Car Projects a Priority with Major Grants


Source of news: caranddriver
Source of publication: 20-10-2016 21:33
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