The President's FY2012 budget includes $6.8 million
for RITA-administered research, development and technology. RITA also manages
$8 million from FTA, and $322 million from FHWA.
Alternative Fuels R&D: $0.5M
- To fulfill its role as DOT's lead agency in
support of Alternative Fuels R&D, RITA will continue to coordinate, manage
and execute key components of the Department's alternative fuels activities in
collaboration with DOT Operating Administrations, DOE, EPA, USDA, Federal,
State, academic, and industry partners. This includes participating with the
congressionally-mandated Biomass Research and Development Board, hosting the
Interagency Biofuels Infrastructure workshop April 2011, and facilitating
intermodal and cross-cutting innovative research through the DOT Alternative
Fuels Working Group.
Research, Development and Technology (RD&T) Coordination: $ 0.9M
- RITA is carrying out the Mineta Act mandate
to ensure RD&T coordination and collaboration and leveraging of resources
within DOT and with external entities.
- SAFETEA-LU required a DOT R&D Strategic
Plan and a review by the National Academies' National Research Council (NRC).
Using the DOT Strategic Plan as a guiding document, the DOT RD&T Planning
Team developed the 2011 2016 DOT
RD&T Strategic Plan. The Plan will be published this spring in the
Federal Register through which comments and suggestions will be solicited from
the public. The public's comments and suggestions will be reviewed and
incorporated into the plan as deemed appropriate by the RDT Planning Team and
an expert panel led by the chairman of the original NRC review committee. The
finalized 2011-2016 DOT RD&T Strategic Plan will be published this summer.
- During the past 12 months, RITA formed 14 Research Clusters composed of DOT
researchers and faculty from DOT-funded universities to communicate through a
SharePoint site for information sharing and research collaboration. Support is
needed in 2012 to continue and maintain this effort, to enhance the use of
social media for information dissemination and to host virtual and in-person
research seminars and critical topic reviews.
- Also during the past 12 months, RITA
initiated a Transportation Technology
Transfer program supportive of transportation product development and
dissemination to enhance the Department's ability to identify and support
technology transfer of products of University Research Centers. RITA is
sponsoring the first annual University Transportation Center (UTC) Technology
Transfer Showcase on Wednesday, April 6 at US DOT headquarters, highlighting the
work of 25 UTCs.
- To enhance awareness and transparency, RITA has developed a
web-based Knowledge Management
System in response to a GAO recommendation that RITA develop a
searchable database for R&D activities. The objective of this initiative is to
maintain a repository that fully integrates information about R&D at
the project level funded by DOT, both internally at DOT and externally at
universities. Additional FY 2012
funding will support the posting and maintenance of the database as well
as data mining to develop composite reports of DOT research in key areas,
identification of new cluster areas, and identification of research
products for technology transfer.
Positioning, Navigation and Timing: $1M
- The Positioning, Navigation and Timing
Program (PNT) coordinates DOT PNT technology
and policy, as well as provides civil PNT systems analysis which is critical to
intermodal transportation applications. In 2007, the Secretary of
Transportation delegated the DOT PNT responsibility to RITA.
- Per National Security Presidential
Directive-39, DOT serves as the lead for PNT requirements,
architecture development, and GPS acquisition, development, and operations for
all United States Government civil departments and agencies.
- The PNT Program is essential to ensuring that
critical infrastructures have the primary and back-up PNT systems upon which
they depend for daily operations, as well as identifying and pursuing gaps and
research needed to meet these requirements, to enable future systems such as
NextGen, Positive Train Control, and Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS).
- During the past 12 months, DOT and DoD, in
conjunction with 29 other government departments and agencies and outreach to
industry and universities, completed the National
PNT Architecture Implementation Plan. This plan provides a roadmap through 2025 to overcome capability gaps
predominantly resulting from the limitations of GPS.
- The PNT program produces the Federal Radionavigation Plan in
conjunction with DoD and DHS, the Civil PNT Requirements Document, chairs the
Civil GPS Service Interface Committee, and advances the National PNT
Architecture in conjunction with the Department of Defense and other government
Competitive University Transportation Centers (UTC) Program [$100M]*
- *The funding will come through FHWA ($92M)
and FTA ($8M) to RITA.
- The UTC Program will consist of two
components: A. base funding of $80M for multimodal and multidisciplinary UTC
consortia around particular theme areas, plus B. an additional $20M that will
be reserved for a targeted multimodal research program for which the UTCs can
compete. By funding university research and education, the USDOT is investing
in our nation's intellectual transportation capacity.
- A. Competitive UTC Consortia [$80M]*
- o *The funding will come through FHWA ($72M)
and FTA ($8M) to RITA.
- o The UTC Program was initiated in 1987 under
the Surface Transportation and Uniform Relocation Assistance Act, which
authorized the establishment and operation of transportation centers in each of
the 10 standard federal regions. The Program was reauthorized and expanded in
1991, 1998, and 2005. In 2005, SAFETEA-LU reauthorized the Program, increasing
the number of Centers from 33 to 60. In addition to the 10 Regional Centers,
which were competitively selected, 10 Tier-1-funded Centers were competitively
selected. All of the UTCs except for the Title III Centers are required to have
a one-for-one funding match. The current legislation does not require the Title
III centers to match their grant funding dollar for dollar. The 60 Centers
include a total of 125 universities. The UTC grants support research, education
and technology transfer.
- o The UTC Program's mission is to advance
transportation expertise and technology in the many disciplines that comprise
transportation through education, research
and technology transfer at university-based consortia.
- o The UTC Program provides a critical
transportation knowledge base outside of the USDOT and addresses critical
workforce needs for future generations of transportation leaders. USDOT
proposes to reform the UTC Program by competitively selecting UTC consortia
that will be governed by peer review principles. All UTCs will be selected via
rigorous competition that will include incentives for addressing key USDOT
- o Each competitively selected UTC consortia
will receive baseline funding. These competitively selected recipients will
also be eligible to receive funds from the UTC Multimodal Competitive Research
- B. UTC Multimodal Competitive Research
- o *The funding will come through FHWA to
- o Most USDOT research is funded on a
mode-by-mode basis. In order to
encourage cross-modal research, the Secretary will appoint an internal
cross-modal USDOT governance council to select annual priorities for targeted
research needs. The University Transportation
Center (UTC) Competitive Research Grant Program reserves 20 percent of the
total $100M competitive UTC program to provide USDOT's modal administrations
access to the nation's top academic researchers and University-based
laboratories to address specific
cross-modal research priorities in the areas of safety, state of good
repair, economic competitiveness, livable communities and environmental
- o This program will allow all modal
administrations to bring research needs, unanticipated issues, and
quick-response problems to the table on an annual basis that UTC universities
can compete for. This unique cross-modal
program will enable USDOT staff to engage
directly in partnership with UTC researchers to solve pressing problems or
support policy decisions on a more nimble and responsive basis. Eligible recipients of these grants will be
any of the universities participating in the competitively selected UTCs.
- o Frequently, UTCs develop promising results in
their outlined baseline funded programs that modal administrations wish to
capitalize on or to more specifically focus. These funds will allow modal administrations to develop Statements of
Work to obtain that follow-on research to answer specific questions or to tap
into unique expertise developed by a particular UTC consortium.
Multimodal Innovative Research Program: [$20M]*
- *The funding will come through FHWA to RITA. The Multimodal
Innovative Research Program is a restructuring of the current Advanced
Research Program, managed by RITA. The existing Advanced Research Program is a reimbursable program
with FHWA that funds research relevant to FHWA but also applicable to
other modal administrations.
- Using the DOT RD&T Planning Team and RD&T Planning Council
as cross-modal selecting bodies, the new program will fund a set of
collaboratively outlined long-term research priorities. Competitively
solicited proposals for the research will be open to bid by industry,
university or state-based stakeholders and will serve as the basis for
this Departmental, multi-modal research agenda. Guided by the USDOT RD&T Strategic
Plan, this initiative will create opportunities for funding
cross-modal research that is aimed at solving transportation problems at
the interfaces between modes, or problems that affect more than one mode.
- The initiative will also include a component fostering creativity
and innovation that can support a competition and prize program aimed at
solving urgent transportation problems, in support of the Administration's Open Government initiative. This program will also support key
partnerships with other Federal agencies to fully leverage their
investments in transportation research and product development to address
- The program will competitively award contracts for advanced
multimodal transportation research to facilitate practical innovative approaches
to solve transportation problems related to attainment of USDOT strategic
goals and multi-modal elements of the DOT
RD&T Strategic Plan; to address issues affecting policy, and
cross-modal concerns such as efficient and intermodal goods and passenger
movements; and to support development of advanced vehicle technologies and
application/repurposing of existing technologies such as remote sensing
and spatial information products.
- Research products and results from this initiative will provide: 1.
Transportation system applications of advanced transportation
technologies, methodologies, policies and decisions; 2. Best practices in
planning, operations, design and maintenance of transportation and related
systems; 3. Technology identification, modification and dissemination
through outreach to other federal agencies, state and local transportation
agencies and other public, private and academic stakeholders in the
- Successful projects will support U.S. DOT strategic goals by
applying state-of-the art advanced technology solutions to multimodal
transportation issues. The program will focus on research to result in
quick turnaround' products applied vs. basic technology development
including methodologies, policy guidelines, planning tools, prototypes/pilot
products for practical application.
Intelligent Transportation Systems: Core Program [$110M]*
- *ITS Program funding and administrative support comes from FHWA,
and the RITA Administrator provides the strategic direction for the
- The ITS Program dates back over the past three surface
authorizations and is specifically authorized under Section 5301 of
SAFETEA-LU. It calls for a broad range of multi-modal ITS research
activities to address surface related improvements in transportation
safety, mobility, and environmental benefits. In addition to the core
research mission, the ITS program is also authorized to address the
development of standards and architecture, expansion of road weather data
and systems integration, professional workforce development (i.e
training), implementation of a national 511 traveler information system,
and technology transfer activities.
- The ITS Program is governed through the ITS Management Council that
consists of the Modal Administrators from RITA, FHWA, NHTSA, FMCSA,
FTA, FRA and MARAD with Deputy Secretary as chair. With the movement of
the ITS JPO into RITA per the Mineta Act, the Deputy Secretary has
delegated chair responsibilities to the RITA Administrator. This
governance structure ensures that the ITS research program has a
multi-modal and cross-modal perspective.
- The Intelligent
Transportation Systems (ITS) Strategic Research Plan, 2010 - 2014 is being implemented to leverage the power of wireless communication to
advance transportation safety, mobility and environmental sustainability.
Vehicle Research is wireless communication technology applied to
transportation. Specifically this
applies to vehicles of all types (cars, trucks and buses), infrastructure
and pedestrians. This technology
has the potential to prevent cars from crashing, and to reduce congestion
on our highways and roads. This is
done by sending messages between vehicles, infrastructure, pedestrians,
and bicyclists and using that data to manage the entire transportation network
more safely and efficiently.
Wireless Innovation (WIN) Fund Initiative [$100M]
Innovation (WIN) Fund Initiative is separate from the core ITS research
program, and is part of a government-wide initiative to support the President's
National Broadband Plan.
FCC spectrum auctions planned over the next ten years are estimated to produce
$27 billion in revenue. The President's
Budget requests that $3 billion of the proceeds from these auctions be used
across multiple Federal agencies for various wireless broadband applications
and infrastructure investments. The ITS
program will receive $100M (to be used over a five year period) to help foster
new wireless technologies and applications in transportation. Examples of potential applications include
wireless fast lanes for vehicle inspections, and competitively-selected
regional/corridor test bed demonstrations of wireless applications for
safety, mobility, emergency response, energy, and environmental
RESEARCH, DEVELOPMENT &
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
(In thousands of dollars)
|Research and Development
and Administrative Expenses
Fuels Research & Development
|Positioning, Navigation, and Timing
Transportation Research (FHWA)
Transportation Research (FTA)
Multimodal Competitive Research Grants
Research and Technology
|Intelligent Transportation Systems: Core Program