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Feds spend $60 million for AV tests on public roads

A Ford Argo AI test vehicle being tested in downtown Detroit
A Ford Argo AI test vehicle being tested in downtown Detroit. Photo: Jeff Kowalsky/AFP/Getty Images

The U.S. Department of Transportation on Wednesday announced nearly $60 million in federal grants to 8 automated driving projects in 7 states.

Why it matters: The projects will help communities gather significant safety data that will be shared with the agency to help shape future regulations on self-driving cars.

"The Department is awarding $60 million in grant funding to test the safe integration of automated vehicles into America's transportation system while ensuring that legitimate concerns about safety, security, and privacy are addressed."
— Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao

The funding program attracted more than 70 applicants, including cities, states and local transit authorities, universities and research centers.

Of note:

  • 3 projects, in Texas, Iowa and Ohio, will focus on rural applications of automated driving.
  • Virginia Tech received two grants, totaling $15 million.

Read the list of recipients here.