The program is authorized in the Safe, Accountable, Flexible and Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) (PL 109-59) § 5506. The program focuses on major national initiatives and validation of CRS&SI technology applications which deliver smarter and more efficient methods, processes and services for transportation infrastructure development, construction and condition assessment. The program provides funding through a competitive basis to individuals/consortia teams of university research entities working in partnership with industry and state agencies.
Focus areas of applied research are chosen based on USDOT priorities for CRS&SI technology applications for user services that have the potential to produce a high return on investment and improve the efficiency and practices of infrastructure development, planning, construction and condition assessment procedures.
Commercial remote sensing products include remote sensing technologies and data from non-contact and above-ground platforms – e.g. satellites, manned and unmanned aerial systems etc. Spatial information technology products include technologies and data from Geospatial Information Systems, Global Positioning Systems and other related services. The process of infrastructure development, planning, construction and condition assessment is burdened with challenges of collection and interpretation of data, adoption of innovative methods and timely implementation of new technologies. Therefore, in order to ensure safe and efficient movement of people and freight within the national transportation infrastructure system, this program executes projects dedicated to reduce inefficiencies, improve system performance, and assess infrastructure condition through implementation of applied research.