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The program marries existing agency priorities with emerging technologies, and asks small businesses to drive innovation in infrastructure data visualization.
The Department of Transportation is allocating $15 million in federal funding for small businesses to take advantage of artificial intelligence systems and create new applications specifically for the U.S. transportation sector.
Announced on Friday, the Transportation’s Small Business Innovation Research Program will spearhead the Complete Streets AI Initiative to bring AI and machine learning solutions to transportation infrastructure. The program is intended to foster decision-support tools for state and local governments that can help design and deploy a network of Complete Streets, a longstanding agency initiative to support the construction of livable, connective public streets.
Bridging existing data gaps is a key feature of this initiative, with some areas of the U.S. lacking the necessary traffic or sidewalk data to improve local infrastructure.
“Innovation in the AI and transportation sector is happening at unprecedented speed and has the potential to address some of our most pressing transportation challenges,” said Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg in a statement. “This funding supports our country’s small businesses and startups to harness cutting-edge technologies, deploy them in local communities, and make our streets safer.”
The Complete Streets AI Initiative will feature multiple phases. In this initial round, 10 Phase 1 contracts will be awarded to small businesses looking to leverage automated data analytics to develop Complete Streets across the country.