SMART Grant Awardees Turn to V2X to Address Transportation Challenges: A Message from ITS JPO Director Brian Cronin

You may have heard that on March 14, 2024, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced more than $50 million in grant awards for 34 technology demonstration projects across the country through the Strengthening Mobility and Revolutionizing Transportation (SMART) Grants Program. This is an important step toward the deployment of connected vehicles because several of the awardees plan to utilize vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communications as the centerpiece of their projects.

The SMART program was established to provide grants to eligible public-sector agencies to conduct demonstration projects focused on advanced smart community technologies and systems to improve transportation efficiency and safety. The 34 projects are located in 22 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.

Here are just a few SMART grant awardees that are tapping into the potential of V2X:

  • The City of Anaheim, California, is using off-the-shelf V2X technologies and automated traffic signal performance measures to test the effectiveness of signal priority and red-light violation warning use-cases at signalized intersections on two corridors.
  • The Henry County, Georgia, government is testing cellular V2X (C-V2X) technologies for emergency vehicle preemption at intersections.
  • Iowa's East Central Intragovernmental Association is developing an open cellular-based interface to disseminate near-real-time transportation information across the city of Dubuque and the surrounding region.
  • The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is piloting a cellular-based system to deliver curve speed warnings to drivers.
  • The City of Chattanooga, Tennessee, is implementing a C-V2X solution for detecting vulnerable road users at midblock crossings.

V2X technology is a powerful tool that enables vehicles to communicate with each other, with other road users such as pedestrians and cyclists, and with roadside infrastructure. As these grants demonstrate, state and local governments across the country are showing increased interest in the lifesaving potential of V2X connectivity. Their efforts should be applauded - and serve as an example to stakeholders across the transportation industry who are working together towards the vision of a nationwide, interoperable V2X ecosystem.

Brian Cronin, Director, ITS JPO

Posted 3/22/24