Virginia Port Authority’s autonomous truck project receives $2.1 million federal grant

Virginia Port Authority’s autonomous truck project receives $2.1 million federal grant
With the help of a $2.1 million federal grant, the Port of Virginia will be the first terminal in North America to be “autonomous truck ready.” (Courtesy: Virginia Port Authority)

WASHINGTON — The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), an arm of the U.S. Department of Transportation, has awarded a $2.1 million Advanced Transportation and Congestion Management Technologies Deployment (ATCMTD) grant to the Virginia Port Authority for the port’s Autonomous Truck Ready project.

The Virginia Port Authority will establish the building blocks to make the Port of Virginia the first terminal in North America that is “autonomous truck ready.” The main goal of the project is to develop a proof of concept using a real autonomous truck to access the terminals and deliver and receive containers successfully.

This grant is part of $49.6 million awarded to 10 projects around the nation. The FHWA evaluated 46 applications requesting more than $205 million.

“This $49.6 million in grant funding will support innovative solutions to improve connectivity and help prepare America’s transportation systems for the future,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.

FHWA’s ATCMTD program funds early deployments of forward-looking technologies that can serve as national models. This year, in addition to ITS technologies to reduce congestion, the grants will fund projects that support autonomous and connected vehicle technologies.

“The program selections this year look to the future to help ensure that our nation’s highway network is able to accommodate the many advanced technologies on the horizon,” said Federal Highway Administrator Nicole R. Nason.

ATCMTD was established under the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act. State departments of transportation, local governments, transit agencies, metropolitan planning organizations and other eligible entities were invited to apply under the program. Now in its fifth year, the program has funded more than 45 projects worth $256 million.

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Virginia Port Authority’s autonomous truck project receives $2.1 million federal grant