April 14, 2021
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Fifteen “teams” in 15 states will receive a combined $41 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation via two agency-sponsored “design challenges” that seek to improve transportation access to persons with disabilities and individuals with mobility issues.

[Above photo by MARC.]

USDOT said in a statement that it split more than $38 million in grant money among five university and private sector-sponsored teams through its Complete Trip – ITS4US Deployment Program. Those projects aim to highlight innovative business partnerships, technologies, and practices that promote independent mobility for all.

Photo by the Maryland Transit Administration

The “three-phased effort” within that program brings together public-sponsored and private-sponsored research, USDOT said, to create large-scale, replicable deployments that generate increased mobility options across multiple modes of transportation to address the challenges of planning and executing complete trips.

USDOT also split $3 million among 10 semifinalists through its Inclusive Design Challenge – a multi-stage competition launched in November 2019 that seeks design solutions to make autonomous vehicles or AVs more accessible to persons with disabilities through hardware or software solutions that enable independent use of AVs by persons with disabilities or mobility issues.

Those 10 projects – each receiving $300,000 – get 18 months to develop their proposed ideas into prototypes, from which USDOT will select three final winners in 2022 that will share a further $2 million worth of funding.

editor@aashto.org

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