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Automated Driving System Demonstration Grants

U.S. DOT announces the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for Automated Driving System (ADS) Demonstration Grants (Press Release). Up to $60,000,000 in Federal funding to provide grants to eligible entities to fund demonstration projects that test the safe integration of automated driving systems into the Nation’s on-road transportation system. These grants aim to gather significant safety data to inform rulemaking, foster collaboration amongst state and local government and private partners, and test the safe integration of ADS on our nation’s roads. Grant applications are due on March 21, 2019 at 8:00 PM Eastern Time through Awardees will be announced in Spring 2019.

Goals of the ADS Demonstration grants:

  • Safety: Test the safe integration of ADS into the nation’s on-road transportation system.
  • Data for Safety Analysis and Rulemaking: Ensure significant data gathering and sharing of project data with USDOT and the public throughout the project in near real time.
  • Collaboration: Work with innovative State and local governments and private partners to create collaborative environments that harness the collective expertise, ingenuity, and knowledge of multiple stakeholders

View the NOFO at this LINK.

Join us on January 24, 2019 from 1:00pm - 2:30pm (Eastern Time) for USDOT’s Informational Webinar on the ADS Demonstration Grants Program. Please register for the webinar at the following LINK.

Questions for U.S. DOT on ADS Demonstration Grants should be submitted via

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • Question: You say that DOT will protect data, release of which would cause “substantial competitive harm.”  What is “substantial competitive harm”?
    • Answer: “Substantial competitive harm” must be established on a fact-specific basis.  You, as the submitter of the information, will be responsible for explaining why you believe that the disclosure of your information would cause “substantial competitive harm.”  In general, it is information that a competitor can use to recreate a product, or to avoid costs of buying or developing the information, leading to an improvement to that competitor’s position relative to the submitter of the information.
  • Question:  How does the Federal FOIA affect state and local disclosure laws?
    • Answer: FOIA has no effect on local sunshine laws, in the absence of a reference to the Federal law.  The fact that DOT might withhold information does not preclude a locality from releasing the information in its possession. Conversely, if a local government released the information pursuant to a records request, DOT would no longer treat the information as confidential and subject to withholding.
  • Question:  How should grant recipients mark and submit confidential information?
    • Answer: DOT expects to establish a process for segregating or marking confidential data and transferring it to DOT prior to award of any grants.
  • Question: How do you expect applicants to address the Economic Vitality, Buy American or domestic vehicle preference requirements in the NOFO?
    • Answer: Executive Order (E.O) 13788 was issued by President Trump on April 18, 2017.  The E.O. outlines the Executive Branch’s policy to buy American and hire American in order to: 1) promote economic and national security and to help stimulate growth, 2) create higher wages and employment rates for workers in the U.S., and 3) to support the U.S. industrial base.  The E.O. specifically orders agencies to enforce Buy American Laws minimizing the use of waivers, consistent with applicable laws. We are asking applicants to outline how they plan to carry out or comply with federal assistance requirements, as well as the core principles of the E.O. or address the reasons they will not be able to comply with them or will need to apply for waivers and exemptions.
Updated: Tuesday, January 8, 2019
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