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U.S. Secretary of Transportation Announces Automated Driving System Demonstration Grant Winners

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

WASHINGTON –U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao today announced nearly $60 million in federal grant funding to eight projects in seven states to test the safe integration of automated driving systems (ADS) on our nation’s roadways.  These grants aim to gather significant safety data to inform rulemaking and foster collaboration amongst state and local government and private partners.

“The Department is awarding $60 million in grant funding to test the safe integration of automated vehicles into America’s transportation system while ensuring that legitimate concerns about safety, security, and privacy are addressed,” said Secretary Elaine L. Chao.

Secretary Chao made the announcement at the Federal Highway Administration Research Showcase, an event promoting the importance of research and innovation in transportation. The event features exhibits and demonstrations of the ongoing research, emerging technologies, and capabilities of the Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) top priority is safety. Automation offers the potential to improve safety for vehicle operators, occupants, and other travelers sharing the road.  To address this potential, DOT solicited applications through the Notice of Funding Opportunity for ADS Demonstration Grants, highlighting key goals for safety, data for safety analysis and rulemaking, and collaboration.  

Grant awards are contingent upon compliance with all relevant federal regulations.  For more information on the applications received, visit

The following applicants were selected to receive grants:



Project Description



Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES)

This project will develop and test ADS for rural roads without high-definition maps and with no or low-quality road signs or markings.



University of Iowa

This project will connect rural, transportation-challenged populations using a mobility-friendly ADS built on a commercially available platform.



Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) Transportation Institute

This project will define, develop, and demonstrate key dynamic scenarios and their potential solutions for safe interaction of ADS-equipped vehicles in a Northern Virginia corridor optimized for vehicle automation.




Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) Transportation Institute


This project will develop and demonstrate a Fleet Concept of Operations to provide the trucking industry with clear guidelines on how to safely implement, and benefit from, ADS-equipped trucks.



Ohio Department of Transportation (DOT) (through DriveOhio)

This project will conduct a multi-pronged demonstration approach focusing on rural environments, cooperative automation, and robust data collection to enable development of effective and informed ADS policies.




Pennsylvania Department of Transportation


This project will explore safe integration of ADS into work zones by examining connectivity, visibility, and high-definition mapping technologies.




City of Detroit, MI

This project will implement the Cooperative Automation Research Mobility Applications (CARMA) Level 3 software platform for demonstration testing focused on mobility, safety, and endurance.




Contra Costa Transportation Authority, CA


This project will demonstrate Level 3 and Level 4 vehicles using shared on-demand, wheelchair accessible ADS-equipped vehicles.