The US Department of Transportation has released $94m in funding for small-scale smart city projects, including drone delivery, smart traffic signals and connectivity for vehicles. The move comes as part of the Strengthening Mobility and Revolutionising Transportation (SMART) programme, which was established to test new technologies designed to improve city services. Transit agencies are also among the beneficiaries, with $1.7m going to the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority in Silicon Valley to upgrade traffic signals to give priority to buses. However, the maximum award for any project is $2m, which is only enough to cover a small-scale pilot, meaning the goal is to provide enough funding to enable experimentation and testing. The USDOT hopes to see positive results from the awardees to encourage further funding, but also warned it will pull the plug should the projects create more problems than solutions. The schemes include a $2m initiative in Detroit to use sensors and artificial intelligence to predict and prevent traffic crashes, a $1.7m project in Arizona to digitise roadways for vehicle-to-everything communication and a $2m grant for Los Angeles to enable better traffic flow via sensors creating a digital inventory of physical traffic assets.

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