Motor Carrier Research and Technology Programs


The Analysis Research and Technology (ART) Office administers FMCSA Research and Technology (R&T) Program. Through the R&T program, FMCSA seeks to reduce the number and severity of crashes to reduce injuries and fatalities contributing to a safe and secure commercial transportation network. The R&T program is targeting crashes involving CMVs and the efficiency of CMV operations through conducting systematic studies directed toward fuller scientific discovery, knowledge, or understanding, adopting, testing, and deploying innovative driver, carrier, vehicle, and roadside best practices and technologies, and expanding the knowledge and portfolio of deployable technology. The development, testing, and deployment of simple and advanced innovative driver/vehicle technologies and integrated IT solutions support the Agency’s priorities by demonstrating new roadside safety technologies and operational concepts, accelerating the deployment of vehicle-based and other safety and security technologies. Also by managing IT projects that integrate data collected and exchanged by various information systems and networks, and providing technical support and assistance to States and the motor carrier industry. The R&T Program has a number of projects directed towards driver behavior, as well as vehicle and carrier safety. The R&T Program also supports information-based safety and security projects. In addition, the support extends to FMCSA programs, specifically, enforcement (HM safety and bus safety), policy (regulations and medical qualifications), and outreach. The R&T program’s strategic objective “Produce Safer Drivers” supports the FMCSA’s "Safety Goal.” The ART Office will continue to evaluate the most critical driver risk factors through the Case-Control Commercial Driver Individual Differences Study. The factors include demographic characteristics, medical conditions, personality traits, attitudes, work environmental conditions, and behavioral history. A medical examination and battery of psychological and behavioral history measures will be administered to as many as 21,000 CMV drivers. The ART Office continues research to determine the effectiveness different restart provisions in the hours of service regulations (HOS) governing CMV drivers in restoring performance. The R&T program’s strategic objective “Improve Safety of Commercial Motor Vehicles” supports the FMCSA’s "Safety Goal” by continuing research aimed at accelerating the deployment of vehicle-based, and other safety and security technologies to reduce crashes. The ART Office will continue conducting fast-turnaround and independent evaluation of promising safety technologies aimed at commercial vehicle operations. FMCSA funding will be used for the evaluation, and the technology developer will partner with the Agency to provide the technology for testing. The FMCSA envisions that individual test and evaluation programs could be completed in 6–12 months. This program should greatly reduce both the time and the resources required to conduct independent evaluations of potentially life-saving safety technologies. The ART Office will continue a DOT multimodal (NHTSA, FMCSA) sponsored study of collecting and analyzing data on bus and motor coach fires. The study will conduct detailed engineering root cause analyses to determine the causes of bus and motor coach fires. The R&T program’s strategic objective “Produce Safer Carriers” supports the FMCSA’s "Safety Goal” by continuing programs aimed at producing science-based regulations to advance the Agency’s strategic and policy goals. This research will support rulemaking activities by gathering and consolidating research for inclusion into the Agency’s rulemakings and required analyses. The ART Office will continue to evaluate the Effectiveness of Fostering Safety Culture in Motor Carriers. This study will use the Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) to help new entrant motor carriers to foster development of a culture for making daily operating decisions based on both good business practices and FMCSA regulatory requirements. The R&T program’s strategic objective “Advance Safety through Information-Based Initiatives” supports the FMCSA strategic objective “Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety” and the DOT strategic objective “Safety” by continuing programs aimed at assuring interoperability of systems supporting safety, security, and productivity and providing technical assistance to States. The ART Office will continue Roadside/On-Board Safety Technology Countermeasures/Wireless Inspection Pilot Test. This study will evaluate the safety benefits of a state-wide wireless inspection network where drivers’ logs and vehicle fault codes are electronically checked on a weekly basis. The R&T program’s strategic objective “Enable and Motivate Internal Excellence” supports the FMCSA’s strategic goal of “Organizational Excellence” by improving performance to serve the customers of the ART Office more effectively and economically. The ART Office’s has a long-standing partnership with the National Academies of Science’s TRB, which will be broadened to increase TRB’s participation and expertise in FMCSA’s analysis, research, and technology programs. Specific joint activities include publishing truck and bus synthesis reports and special reports, conducting conferences, and publishing reports from the Innovations Deserving Exploratory Analysis (IDEA) program.

General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Deleted 04/02/2020 (Archived.)
Program Number
Federal Agency/Office
Agency: Department of Transportation
Office: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
Cooperative Agreements; Project Grants; Project Grants (Contracts)
Program Accomplishments
Not Applicable.
Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century, Section 32601, 32603. , Public Law 97-242; Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century , 49 U.S.C 31108; Motor Carrier Safety Act of 1992 , Public Law 102-240.
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicant Eligibility
Government - General, Interstate, State (includes District of Columbia, public institutions of higher education and hospitals), Sponsored organization, Individual/Family, Profit organization, Private nonprofit institution/organization (includes institutions of higher education and hospitals).
Beneficiary Eligibility
Federal, State, Local, Sponsored organization, Public nonprofit institution/organization, Other public institution/organization, individual/Family, Profit organization, Private nonprofit institution/organization.
Applicants are required to satisfy all DOT/FMCSA’s standards and regulations, including routine and special terms and conditions for financial assistance programs application and conduct. 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
Submission of the standard forms as required by and any special information required by each project. Environmental impact information is not required for this program. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372.
Application Procedure
2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. Completed cooperative agreement proposals shall include the appropriate SF 424 suite of forms, Certifications Regarding Debarment, Suspension and Other Responsibility Matters; Drug Free Workplace Requirements, Lobbying Statements; and any other certifications required by the project.
Award Procedure
Awards will be made on the basis of proposal evaluations and in accordance with the provisions in each project.
Contact the headquarters or regional office, as appropriate, for application deadlines.
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
Approval/Disapproval times will be identified in each cooperative agreement.
Not Applicable.
Not Applicable.
How are proposals selected?
It's based on the cost of the project, qualification of principal investigator and institution, relevance to program's objectives and uses, or merit.
How may assistance be used?
Funds are typically competitively awarded via request for proposals on Funding shall be used in accordance with the requirements identified in each research or technology projects. Projects shall be authorized to meet the objectives of FMCSA. Types of projects include:

• Produce Safer Drivers: Ensure that commercial drivers are physically qualified, trained to perform safely, and mentally alert.
– Onboard Monitoring – Field Operational Test. (FOT)
– Impact of Driver Compensations on CMV Safety
– Update the Model Training Curriculum for Motor coach Drivers
–– Random Roadside Drug Testing Analysis
– Effectiveness Analysis of the FMCSA New Safety Training Program
– Individualized Fatigue Risk Management in Trucking Operations (SBIR)
– Driver Distraction - Evaluation of the Risks Posed by Electronic Devices
– Expert Panel Report Review of HOS for Passenger Carrier Operations
– Effect of Detention Times on CMV Driver Fatigue
– Study of Individual Driver Factors that make them Vulnerability to Fatigue (new)

Produce Safer Carriers: Support efforts to improve carrier safety by applying safety management principles, compiling best management practices, communicating best practices, and supporting the Agency’s enforcement of carrier-related regulations.
– Research to Support FMCSA Rulemaking Activities
– North American Fatigue Management Program (NAFMP)
– Safety Data Risk Study - Phase III
– Effectiveness of the FMCSA Comprehensive Safety Analysis 2010 Training (new)
Improve Safety of Commercial Motor Vehicles: Improve truck and motor coach performance through vehicle-based safety technologies and infrastructure.
– FMCSA Advanced System Testing Data Acquisition System on the Highways (FAST DASH) Program
– Study of Alternatives Methods to Reduce Driver Exposure to Diesel Exhaust PM2.5 (new)
Cross-Cutting Safety Initiatives: Research that may impact multiple dimensions of truck safety including driver, vehicle, and/or carrier safety issues. Such research is often focused on: providing better safety data to aid in identifying problem areas; increasing the understanding of the costs, benefits, and operational impacts of regulations; improving information sharing among various stakeholders; and/or is focused on various security, hazmat, or sustainability (environmental stewardship) issues.
– TRB/FMCSA Partnerships
– Commercial Driver’s License Information System (CDLIS) Traffic Conviction Data Quality. Funds shall be used in accordance with the requirements identified in each projects. Projects shall be authorized to meet the objectives of FMCSA. 100% of the funds are typically competitively awarded via request for proposals on Funding shall be used in accordance with the requirements identified in each research or technology projects. Projects shall be authorized to meet the objectives of FMCSA.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Reporting requirements for recipients are outlined in the FMCSA Financial Assistance Agreement General Provisions and Assurances. Program reports consist of quarterly performance progress status and financial reports no later than 30 days following the end of the quarter being reported. Progress Reports include the Performance Progress Report Coversheet (SF-PPR), together with MCSAP Formula SF-PPR Program Monitoring Report attachment. Financial Reporting requirements include quarterly submission of the Federal Financial Report (SF-FFR, also known as the SF-425) and at least quarterly submission of the Request of reimbursement form (SF-270). No cash reports are required. Reports are due in accordance with the terms and conditions of the award. SF-425. No performance monitoring is required.
In accordance with the provisions of 2 CFR 200, Subpart F - Audit Requirements, non-Federal 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. Project closeout will not alter the Recipient's audit responsibilities. Audit costs for Project administration and management are allowable under this Project to the extent authorized by OMB Circular A-87, revised; OMB Circular A-21, Revised; or OMB Circular A-122, Revised. The Recipient agrees to permit FMCSA, the Secretary of Transportation and the Comptroller General of the United States, or their authorized representatives, to inspect all Project work, materials, payrolls, and other data, and to audit the books, records, and accounts of the Recipient and its contractors pertaining to the Project. The Recipient agrees to require each third party contractor, whose contract award is not based on competitive bidding procedures, as defined by the Secretary to permit the Secretary of Transportation and the Comptroller General of the United States, or their duly authorized representatives, to inspect all work, materials, payrolls, and other data and records involving that contract, and to audit the books, records, and accounts involving that contract as it affects the Project.
Financial and programmatic records, supporting documents, statistical records, and other records of grantees or sub-grantees generally should be retained by all parties for three years. If any litigation, claim, negotiations, audit or other action involving the record has been started before the expiration of the three year period, the records must be retained until completion of the action and resolution of all issues, or until the end of the regular three year period, whichever is later.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
This program has no statutory formula.
This program has no matching requirements.
This program does not have MOE requirements.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
Agreements are usually 12 to 36 months. Method of awarding/releasing assistance: by letter of credit.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
Headquarters Office
Martin Walker, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE, Washington, District of Columbia 20590 Email: Phone: (202) 366-2364.
Website Address
Financial Information
Account Identification
(Salaries) FY 14 Not Available(Exp: No awards made in FY 2014 for th); FY 15 Estimate Not Available(Exp: No awards made in FY 2015 for th); and FY 16 Estimate Not Available
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
The range is between $100,000 and $3,000,000; the average is approximately $400,000.
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
49 USC 31108, " Motor Carrier Research and Technology Program" OMB Circular A-122; OMB Circular A-21; and OMB Circular A-97; and 48 CFR Part 31.
Examples of Funded Projects
Not Applicable.


Federal Grants Resources