US DOT Announces New Rural Autonomous Vehicle Programme

The US Department of Transportation (DOT) has announced 25 million USD in funding for its new Rural Autonomous Vehicle research programme.

Recipients of the funding will conduct research regarding the benefits and potential uses for automated vehicles and associated mobility technology in both rural and Tribal communities.

47% of all roadway fatalities and 34% of all public highway-rail grade crossing fatalities occur on rural roads

The DOT hopes that by investing in new autonomous vehicle programmes, it might be able to reduce the number of fatalities on rural roadways throughout the US by providing better access for self-driving emergency vehicles.

Funding will be split into various categories, with 15 million USD being spent focusing on passenger transportation and the remaining 10 million USD going toward the research of movement of freight to support and enable automated freight and delivery vehicles in rural areas of the country.

Dr Robert C Hampshire, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology and Chief Scientist, said:

“Automated vehicles have the potential to enhance roadway safety and increase mobility options for all Americans, including older Americans, low-income households, people with disabilities, and those who cannot or choose not to drive.”

 

A webinar on the Rural Autonomous Vehicle Program Funding Opportunity is set to take place in January 2024.

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