Carnegie Mellon University

Image of a busy city street

June 23, 2017

CMU Drives Smart Mobility Challenge

Up to $300,000 will be awarded for projects in southwestern Pennsylvania communities

By Scottie Barsotti

Municipalities within the 10-county Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission (SPC) region are encouraged to identify mobility needs affecting citizens and businesses and to apply for funds via a brief online form. Up to $300,000 in awards will fund CMU faculty and students as they pilot smart technology projects to address the selected needs. Support for the challenge is provided by the Hillman Foundation and the USDOT University Transportation Program.

The deadline to apply is July 14, with awards to be announced in early September.

"I'm pleased to see this effort by CMU to bring groundbreaking research and technology to our region," said U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster. "As chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, I've promoted the use of innovation to address our nation's transportation challenges. This is a great example of how federal transportation research funding is directly addressing the needs of our region, by working with communities to improve mobility for people and our local industries."

Traffic21 is a research institute in the Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy. The Smart Mobility Challenge builds on Traffic21's work with the City of Pittsburgh, a globally recognized smart city test bed, and will bring benefits of transportation innovations to less densely populated communities.

"The Smart Mobility Challenge is an ideal opportunity to put Heinz College's model of research, development, and deployment into action as we further develop our region as the epicenter of smart transportation," said Heinz College Dean Ramayya Krishnan.

Mobility21, Traffic21's affiliated U.S. Department of Transportation National University Transportation Center, is in the College of Engineering

"College of Engineering researchers will engage with the community to deploy smart transportation technologies that will result in resilient, cost-effective transportation and infrastructure throughout the region," said College of Engineering Dean James H. Garrett Jr.

An information session will be held at 2 p.m. on Wednesday June 28, in CMU's Hamburg Hall, 4800 Forbes Ave. in Pittsburgh. Application forms and more details can be found at

Smart Mobility Challenge partners include the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission, the Regional Transportation Alliance of Southwestern Pennsylvania, and the Pennsylvania Departments of Transportation and Community and Economic Development.