The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) have announced a collaboration to accelerate the research, development, demonstration and deployment of smart transportation systems and alternative fuel technologies.
According to the DOE’s release, the agencies formalized this collaborative relationship through a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that was unveiled last week at a symposium, “Achieving Zero-Emission Mobility: The Role of Innovative Electric Vehicle Companies,” hosted by the University of California Center on Economic Competitiveness in Transportation in Berkeley, Calif.
The DOE says that the MOU will facilitate coordinated actions to leverage the two agencies’ expertise in transportation energy technology and safety systems, effectively accelerating the analysis, tools and applications of those technologies.
This joint initiative follows DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx’s announcement of the Smart City Challenge, which aims to select one U.S. city to be awarded up to $40 million in Federal Highway Administration money and $10 million from the department’s private-sector partner, Vulcan Inc., for demonstrating and deploying vision-forward smart city and mobility solutions.
According to the release, the winning city will become the nation’s first to integrate innovative technologies, including self-driving cars, connected vehicles and smart sensors, into its transportation network. After receiving 78 applications, the DOT has chosen seven Smart City Challenge finalists to receive a $100,000 grant to refine their full proposals.
The DOE intends to provide support for its Smart City Challenge in the form of expertise and resources, including the department’s extensive experience in transportation electrification and alternative fuel vehicle fleet deployment through the DOE SMART Mobility consortium, EV Everywhere and Clean Cities.