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CMU’s Traffic21 Announces Smart Mobility Challenge

Up to $300,000 will be awarded to Pilot Smart Transportation Technology in SWPA Communities.

Carnegie Mellon University’s Traffic21, a research institute operated out of the Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy, and its affiliated USDOT National University Transportation Center in the College of Engineering, Mobility21, are sponsoring a challenge that will transform southwestern Pennsylvania into a test bed for mobility innovation.

Municipalities within the 10-county Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission (SPC) region are encouraged to identify mobility needs affecting their citizens and businesses and to apply for Challenge funds via a brief online form (URL below). Up to $300,000 in awards will fund CMU faculty and students to pilot selected projects.

Congressman Bill Shuster noted, "I'm pleased to see this effort by CMU to bring ground-breaking research and technology to our region.  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.”

The Smart Mobility Challenge builds on Traffic21’s years of collaboration with the City of Pittsburgh—which has itself become a globally recognized smart city test bed—and to bring benefits of transportation innovations to less densely populated communities.

Heinz College Dean Ramayya Krishnan states, “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.”

“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,” says James Garrett Jr., dean of Carnegie Mellon College of Engineering.

An information session will be held Wednesday June 28, 2017 at 2:00pm in CMU’s Hamburg Hall, 4800 Forbes Avenue in Pittsburgh. Application form and more details found at

Deadline to apply is July 14, 2017, with awards to be announced in early September.

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

Special acknowledgement to the Hillman Foundation and the USDOT University Transportation Program for their support of Traffic21 and Mobility21. 

About The Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy

The Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy is home to two internationally recognized graduate-level institutions at Carnegie Mellon University: the School of Information Systems and Management and the School of Public Policy and Management. This unique colocation combined with its expertise in analytics set Heinz College apart in the areas of cybersecurity, health care, the future of work, smart cities, and arts & entertainment. In 2016, INFORMS named Heinz College the #1 academic program for Analytics Education. For more information, please visit