Autonomous Vehicle Research in Rural Communities Program


The Autonomous Vehicle Research in Rural Communities Program, also known as the Rural Autonomous Vehicle (RAV) Research Cooperative Agreement or RAV Program will award funding to eligible accredited nonprofit institutions of higher education to conduct research and work with rural communities to address the additional challenges, including weather variables and differing types of roadway, of bringing the benefits of autonomous vehicles, including freight and delivery vehicles, to rural Americans.

General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Program Number
Federal Agency/Office
Office of The Secretary, Department of Transportation
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
B - Project Grants
Program Accomplishments
Not applicable.
Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA; P. L. 117-58, November 15, 2021), Public Law 117-58-P.L. 11-41, Joint Explanatory Statement Division L-Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2023, (BILLS 117RCP35 JES DIVISION L, January 2023),
The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA; P. L. 117-58, November 15, 2021) (commonly known as the “Bipartisan Infrastructure Law,” or “BIL”), as amended by the Joint Explanatory Statement Division L-Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2022, (BILLS 117RCP35 JES DIVISION L, March 2022) The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2022, Title 49, Public Law 115-141, as amended by the Joint Explanatory Statement Division L-Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2023, (BILLS 117RCP35 JES DIVISION L, January 2023)
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicant Eligibility
Eligible applicants must be accredited private and public non-profit institutions of higher education, including qualifying and two-year institutions established and located physically in the United States or its territories or on Tribal lands. Each Eligible Entity is required to obtain matching funds from non-Federal sources, in an amount of 50 percent of the USDOT award amount. The USDOT funds for the cooperative agreement may be expended up to 2029, and selected entities will have until that date to meet the full match requirement by obtaining and expending those funds.
Beneficiary Eligibility
Not applicable.
To submit an application, applicants must: Obtain a Data Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) number; Register with the System Award for Management (SAM) at Follow instructions as listed in the Notice of Funding Opportunity. 2 CFR 200, Subpart E - Cost Principles applies to this program.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-Application Procedure
Preapplication coordination is not applicable.
Application Procedure
2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. Eligible Entities must have the following: 1) a secure a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI, formerly DUNS number) for the purposes of formal application. The Unique Entity Identifier is a unique, 12-character alphanumeric value that identifies your organization. Each applicant's Unique Entity Identifier will be maintained as part of the applicant's profile. This number can be obtained through the Federal government's System for Award Management or system; and, 2) each applicant must both register with and register its Authorized Organization Representative (AOR) with To submit an application through (, an applicant must register for a user ID and password. Additional criteria include: 1. All applicants will be a registered user with a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) and a maintained account in the System for Award Management, 2. Applications will include Cover sheet, Research Abstract, and a Written Response, appendices, and two required forms 3. The two-page Research Abstract will address the research topics; the motivations for pursuing the research; how the topics align with your identified DOT Strategic Goals; the transformational impacts that the proposed research is expected to have; and a plan for each of the three phases . 4. The 15-page Written Response will address evaluation criteria and eligible entity program manager and key personnel, discussing what rural transportation challenge and opportunity the proposed research will address, how you will work with other rural transportation stakeholders, your institution's relevant experience, and your ideas to further RAV program objectives. 5. The three required appendices are: Enrollment Information for any Minority Institution(s), Resum?s for Eligible Entity Program Manager and Key Personnel, and Eligible Entity Budget Plan. 6. The two required forms are: SF-424 and SF-424B.
Award Procedure
OST-R staff will conduct an initial compliance review of applications to identify any that are incomplete, non-responsive to this Notice of Funding Opportunity, or ineligible to receive a RAV Research Cooperative Agreement, followed by a Technical Merit and Project Readiness Review of each criterion. For each criterion, USDOT will consider whether the application narrative is responsive to the selection criterion focus areas which will result in a rating of 'High,' 'Medium,' 'Low,' or 'Non-Responsive.' Only applications rated as 'Highly Recommended' or 'Recommended' will be reviewed by a Senior Review Team (SRT).
TBD Contact the headquarters or regional location, as appropriate for application deadlines
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
From 90 to 120 days.
Not applicable.
Not applicable.
How are proposals selected?
The RAV Research Program's selection criteria to be used in this competition are included in this Notice of Funding Opportunity as Criteria One through Four, described below: 1. Research Collaboration and Capability 2. Leadership 3. Partnerships and Collaboration 4. Program Efficacy In addition, the US DOT currently requires all Notices of Funding Opportunity to reflect in selection criteria the Presidential Executive Orders cited in Section A.4 Relationship to Other US DOT Efforts above; responsiveness to these Executive Orders will be assessed through the applicant's responses to Criteria One and Three, described below. SECTION E APPLICATION REVIEW INFORMATION describes how these selection criteria will be used in the selection process. The selecting official will also be looking for applications that support the US DOT FY 2022-2026 Strategic Plan, which will be assessed through the applicant's responses to Criteria One through Four.
How may assistance be used?
Funds will be used for research. This will include Research Demonstration activities.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Not applicable.
Requirements are consistent with OMB Circular No. 2 CFR 200, Subpart F, Audit Requirements, which states, "nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $750,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Non-Federal entities that expend less than $750,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in 2 CFR 200.503."
Recipient records are required to retain intact, for 3 years following submission of the final expenditure report, pending resolution of audit findings, all grant products, financial records, and supporting documents.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory formula is not applicable to this assistance listing.

Matching is mandatory. 50%. Total funding under this award must include the US DOT funding plus non-Federal matching funds. The matching funds may include Federal funds provided to a recipient under 23 U.S.C. § 504(b) or 505 (local technical assistance and State planning and research programs managed by the Federal Highway Administration). No other sources of Federal funds, including from non-US DOT Departments and Agencies, may be counted toward the match requirement. The non-Federal matching funds may be cash or in-kind, must be used to accomplish program objectives and the purpose of the grant, and must be fully documented in the Center’s records. Grantees will have the length of the grant period to obtain and to spend the full amount of required matching funds. Any restrictions under the grant or in Federal grant regulations 2 CFR Part 200 on allowability of costs apply to matching funds as well as the Federal funds.

MOE requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
$25 million to be awarded in FY 2023 and must be expended by FY 2029. Method of awarding/releasing assistance by submitting a Request for Advance or Reimbursement (SF 270) through Delphi eInvoicing System. Method of awarding/releasing assistance: Lump.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
None/Not specified.
Headquarters Office
Caesar Singh, P.E.
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20950 US
Phone: 202-366-3252
Financial Information
Account Identification
(Cooperative Agreements) FY 22$0.00; FY 23 est $25,000,000.00; FY 24 est $0.00; -
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
Up to $25 million dollars will be awarded two university and, if applicable, to consortium members. Each award recipient will received $12.5 million (50 percent).
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
The Rural AV Program recipients will establish and maintain a website for posting official information.
Examples of Funded Projects
Not applicable.


Federal Grants Resources