The US Department of Transportation (DOT) is awarding up to $435 million in grant awards for 34 University Transportation Centers (UTC). UTCs advance transportation expertise and technology in the varied disciplines that comprise the field of transportation through education, research, and technology transfer activities.
Project focus areas include, but are not limited to, improving the mobility of disadvantaged populations to mitigating impacts of extreme weather impacts on the US transportation systems to identifying and mitigating cybersecurity risks.
The Department received 230 grant applications during this competition, which represents the largest number of applications ever submitted in the 35-year history of the UTC Program.
Selected National UTCs include:
$4 million/year for Clemson University to lead a group focused on cybersecurity: This UTC will continuously monitor and address the vulnerabilities of cybersecurity associated with transportation cyber-physical-social systems (TCPSS). TCPSS uses computations and communication embedded in and interacting with physical processes to add new capabilities to transportation systems. This UTC will work on identifying challenges and threats across transportation modes, geographies, and applications; and pioneering advanced cybersecurity strategies and solutions for multimodal transportation.
Consortium members: Benedict College, Florida International University, Morgan State University (MD), Purdue University, South Carolina State University, University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa, University of California at Santa Cruz, and University of Texas at Dallas.
$4 million/year for University of California, Davis to lead a group focused on the environment: This UTC will focus on accelerating equitable decarbonization that benefits both the transportation system and the well-being of people in overburdened and historically disadvantaged communities. It will concentrate research activities in three critical domains: vehicle technology to accelerate lower greenhouse gas emissions, infrastructure provision, and reshaping travel demand.
Consortium members: California State University Long Beach, Georgia Institute of Technology, Texas Southern University, University of California Riverside, University of Southern California, and University of Vermont.
$4 million/year for Prairie View A&M (TX) University to lead a group focused on infrastructure: This HBCU-led UTC will develop and transfer into practice new technologies or approaches not currently deployed in the transportation system, including novel data and technology approaches related to artificial intelligence and environmental stewardship/resilience. The research activities will aim to develop and deploy interoperable data platforms and technology systems for transportation planning and infrastructure operations.
Consortium members: Arizona State University, Blinn Community College (TX), Michigan State University, Rutgers University and Texas A&M University.
$4 million/year for University of Texas at Austin to lead a group focused on mobility: This UTC will execute the Transportation Heartbeat of America Survey to collect longitudinal data to understand how travel behavior and demand is evolving. By undertaking this breakthrough research for measuring, monitoring, modeling, and managing traveler behaviors, it aims to foster the design, development, and operation of a people-centric, multimodal, intelligent transportation system that meets the needs of people, institutions, and businesses.
Consortium members: Arizona State University, California State Polytechnic University Pomona, City College of New York, Diné College (Navajo Nation), Georgia Institute of Technology, University of Michigan, and University of Washington.
$4 million/year for Carnegie Mellon University to lead a group focused on safety: This UTC will implement an innovative system-of-systems approach to integrate autonomous, connected, electric and shared vehicles (ACES) technologies into transportation networks. The research will address challenges of connected/automated vehicles (simulation, systems design, validation, and testing) and infrastructure (planning, design, condition assessment and monitoring) to equip US companies with innovative technologies including AI, data analytics, connectivity, edge computing and smart infrastructure.
Consortium members: Community College of Allegheny County, Community College of Philadelphia, Morgan State University (MD), Ohio State University, University of Pennsylvania, and University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.
Further, nine Regional UTCs ($3 million/year each) and 20 Tier One UTCs ($2 million/year each) will address the following research priority areas:
Reducing Transportation Cybersecurity Risks
Preserving the Environment
Improving the Durability and Extending the Life of Transportation Infrastructure
Improving Mobility of People and Goods
Preserving the Existing Transportation System