From materials to data to technology to financing, DOT uses every tool at our disposal to make transportation safer, more sustainable, and more efficient.

We're not just talking about filling in potholes; we're talking about a transportation system that is better for the long-term. To make that happen, we have needed every tool in the box. And when the box hasn't had what we needed, we've innovated.  

From the introduction of anti-lock braking systems in American automobiles and the National Passenger Railroad Corporation (Amtrak) in the 1970s to the marine highways and hydrogen fuel-cell transit buses put into service over the past decade, DOT has enthusiastically supported deployment of concepts that have made American transportation stronger and will make it stronger in the future.

That support continues today. The programs listed below are just a sampling of this Department's current efforts to drive transportation innovation.

  • Beyond Traffic is our draft framework for the future that underscores critical decision points facing the country, by means of data driven analysis, research, expert opinions and public engagement. 
  • Autonomous and Connected Vehicle technologies promise to wirelessly connect vehicles to each other, to roads, and to personal mobile devices so they can exchange secure information about their position, speed, and more. These technologies will help us move about more safely and help us get where we're going more effectively, whether we're on foot, on bike, or in a vehicle.
  • The Smart City Challenge is our way of encouraging cities to show what is possible when they use technology to connect transportation assets into an interactive data-fueled network. The challenge will award up to $40 million in federal funding to one medium-sized city, selected through a nationwide competition.
  • The Build America Transportation Investment Center, which we call BATIC, serves as the single point of contact and coordination for states, municipalities and transportation project sponsors looking to use federal expertise, apply for federal credit programs, and explore ways to access private capital in public private partnerships.
  • NextGen, the Federal Aviation Administration's next generation approach to managing our National Airspace System, is transforming our radar-based air traffic control system to a more efficient satellite-based system. It is delivering benefits today that increase efficiency and flexibility while reducing aviation's environmental footprint and enhancing safety. 
  • Every Day Counts (EDC) is the Federal Highway Administration's initiative to speed up delivery of highway projects and address the challenges presented by limited budgets. EDC is a state-based model to identify and rapidly deploy proven but underused innovations to shorten the project delivery process, enhance roadway safety, reduce congestion, and improve environmental sustainability.
  • Learn about the history of DOT's Intelligent Transportation Systems program.
Updated: Tuesday, June 7, 2016
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