CCAT Announces Joint Funding Opportunity with Mcity, Deadline Moves to January 17th

CCAT Announces Joint Funding Opportunity with Mcity, Deadline Moves to January 17th

A promotional image of the Mcity test track and an L-4 autonomous vehicle. There is text that reads '2022 Funding Opportunity'.
CCAT Level 4 Autonomous Vehicle drives on the Mcity test track

The deadline for the 2022 funding opportunity from the Center for Connected and Automated Transportation (CCAT) has moved from November 29th, 2021 to January 17th, 2022. CCAT has also announced a joint funding opportunity with Mcity. Complete details can be found below:

2022 Funding Opportunity

Mcity/CCAT RFP Information (PDF)

Mcity/CCAT Appendix A + B (Evaluation Criteria/Cover Sheet) (PDF)

Mcity, together with the USDOT Midwest Region 5 Center for Connected and Automated Transportation (CCAT) at UMTRI, are pleased to announce a joint funding opportunity for advanced transportation research.

The joint RFP contains a dedicated track for social science research on mobility.

Available Funding Amount: $2M Total (Mcity: $1M, CCAT: $1M)
Proposal Deadline: January 17, 2022

Overview of Mcity:
Mcity is a public/private partnership that aims to research, develop, and deploy new mobility concepts, with a near-term research focus on both engineering and “beyond engineering” topics related to future mobility technologies. Key Mcity resources include (i) the Mcity test facility, an 18-acre test site designed to enable future mobility technology research and development; (ii) Collections of field naturalistic driving data and data from the Ann Arbor Connected Environment (AACE), and (iii) 3 Lincoln MKZ and 1 Kia Soul connected and automated vehicles for research use. This RFP, the eighth released by Mcity, is funded by the industrial members. The project PIs must include researchers from the Mcity member companies in the development of their research project concept and throughout the duration of the project.

Mcity Research Topics
Mcity will consider a wide array of research topics that focus on 4 main areas of outcomes where the membership would like to improve metrics in each area.

OutcomesSafetyEfficiencyAccessibility/EquityCommercial/Economic Viability
-Security of Infrastructure, Sensors, AI/ML/Intelligent Systems
– Machine & Human interaction/interface
– Best Practice Development (methodologies) e.g., Cyber Risk Assessments
– Traffic Management
– Energy Management
– Data Management
– Assess standards/available solutions to meet end users’ needs for AV design
-End user research to assess vehicle form factors by disability type
– Navigation/wayfinding to/from vehicle
– Complete trip pain points/disruptions, identified gaps
– Safety assessment of retrofitted accessible vehicles
– Business models
– Consumer Acceptance/Adoption
– Technical feasibility
– Best practice development (inform policy)
– Market viability

To impact the 4 outcome areas, Mcity will focus on the following key domains:

  • Connected & Automated Technologies & Deployments
  • Road infrastructure to support connected and automated vehicles
  • Validation and verification of automated vehicles
  • Cybersecurity
  • Human Factors
  • Business Model Development
  • Public Policy, e.g. for data collection and privacy, first/last-mile access
  • Transportation equity and Insecurity

While we encourage a broad range of research topics in the general areas above, Mcity working groups have identified near-term open questions or topics of interest that are highly encouraged for this round of RFP:

● Research on C-V2X/DSRC RSUs or 5G NR (we will not fund deployment-only projects)
● CAV applications leveraging the AACE environment
● Using AACE data to improve mobility, safety, and sustainability
● First/Last mile mobility to address societal challenges
● Template library for cybersecurity risk assessment (e.g., risk assessment template for zonal controller architecture and automated features)
● Detection and mitigation of attacks and anomalies (e.g., utilize sensor fusion, combine wireless and physical sensor data to detect attacks)

● Joint work with Safety (safety work products in TARA and cyber case)
● CAVs to improve mobility for underserved communities
● Infrastructure security (smart cities as it relates to vehicle, EV charging security)
● Model and architecture of SOC (security operations center)
● Testing and evaluation of highly automated vehicles
● Sensor security and security of AI/ML/intelligent systems

Additional information about Mcity and its research projects can be found at

Overview of Center for Connected and Automated Transportation (CCAT)

The University of Michigan at Ann Arbor (UM), in partnership with Purdue University, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), University of Akron (UA), Central State University (CSU), and Washtenaw Community College (WCC), established the USDOT Region 5 University Transportation Center: Center for Connected and Automated Transportation (CCAT) in December 2016 under the FAST Act. The FAST Act research priority area for CCAT is promoting safety; CCAT focuses its efforts in the fields of comprehensive transportation safety and congestion management by taking advantage of connected vehicles, connected infrastructure, and automated vehicles. CCAT has been named the University Transportation Center (UTC) for focused research on connected and automated transportation, as designated by the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology. It is more important than ever to deliver research with outputs, outcomes, and impacts that will significantly shape the future of transportation.

CCAT Vision: Maintain regional and national leadership in connected and automated transportation system research, education, and training.

CCAT Mission: Significantly impact the evolution of the U.S. next-generation transportation systems with emerging technologies on safety, mobility, and sustainability. Provide national and regional leadership for connected and automated transportation research, science, education, training, and deployment.

CCAT Research Thrusts:

  • Enabling Technologies for Connected and Automated Transportation Systems (CATS)
  • Policy and Planning for CATS
  • Infrastructure Design and Management for CATS
  • Human Factors for CATS
  • Control and Operations for CATS
  • Modeling and Implementation for CATS

The following topics will be of particular interest in the area of connected and automated transportation, in alignment with USDOT goals to accelerate novel, not incremental, research projects in these areas:

  • Equity
  • Climate Change/sustainability
  • Education
  • Safety

Additional details about CCAT and currently funded research projects can be found at

Social Science Research on Mobility
Social science research is critical to the construction of safe, sustainable, equitable transportation systems involving connected and automated vehicles. This includes, but is not limited to, understanding: how people make decisions and tradeoffs around transportation modes, travel time, travel cost, and travel burden; the landscape of and barriers to digital literacy; the prevalence, demographics, and geography of and disparities in transportation insecurity; how political jurisdictions (local governments, counties, states, MPOs) shape transportation-related spending; how intergovernmental cooperation shapes or impedes the design of regional transit solutions; how localities use transportation-related policing and fines and fees to fund municipal budgets and how such fines and fees shape people’s ability to get around; the relationship between poverty, income, wealth, and transportation; how parental transportation insecurity shapes child outcomes; the role transportation plays in creating communities and regions that facilitate or impede economic mobility; the role of labor vs. automation; the nature of employment contracts; how transportation shapes outcomes related to health, education, neighborhood attainment; transportation and political engagement; the effectiveness of transportation related people vs. place based interventions and policies; and more.

Combined Mcity-CCAT RFP Program Structure:

  • Proposals can be submitted to either Mcity or CCAT only, or to both, for consideration for funding. Please be aware that the intellectual property terms for Mcity and CCAT are different. For more information on Mcity’s terms, please refer to Mcity’s Terms and Conditions, found here. For CCAT funded projects, CCAT researchers retain the entire right, title, and interest throughout the world to each innovation, technical solution, or unique increase to the general body of knowledge resulting from the work performed. With respect to any Invention in which title is retained, US DOT must have nonexclusive, irrevocable, paid-up license to practice, or have practiced for or on its behalf the Invention throughout the world. Inventions and patents must be reported to iEdison.
  • Mcity proposals are required to have an Mcity Leadership Circle (LC) member champion to deepen the project’s value to industry. CCAT proposals are required to have an industry or government champion to ensure a sound foundation for technology transfer (reference the CCAT Technology Transfer Plan attached). Note: industry champions are NOT required for non-engineering researchers targeting social science topics.
  • Proposals led by multiple University of Michigan PIs, multiple units (departments and colleges) are strongly encouraged. As is the inclusion of CCAT partner institutes for CCAT-only submissions (contact Debby Bezzina for CCAT partner contacts). However, funds will be dispersed only to University of Michigan faculty. U-M PIs will be responsible for any subcontracts.
  • The University of Michigan Mcity/CCAT Director and Managing Directors will first review proposals. Proposals submitted for Mcity only and both Mcity and CCAT, will be forwarded to Mcity’s LC companies for further review. Proposals submitted to CCAT, or both Mcity and CCAT, will be forwarded to the CCAT Technology Advisory Board (TAB) for further review. Proposals will be assessed using the proposal evaluation criteria found in Appendix A.
  • Both Tenured/Tenure-track faculty and research faculty (research scientists and professors) at any rank at U-M are eligible to apply.

For proposals that wish to be considered for Mcity funding:

  • The proposal must include clear elaboration on how the research supports Mcity activities.
  • Proposals are encouraged to request usage of Mcity resources (e.g. time at the Mcity test facility), at no direct cost to the project.
  • Proposals with a final demonstration phase to showcase the research results are highly desired.
  • Proposals without a LC champion will not be funded. If assistance in identifying or contacting LC companies is needed, please email Vicki Waters (

For proposals that wish to be considered for CCAT funding:

  • Proposals must include clear elaboration on how the research activities support one or more of the CCAT research thrusts.
  • CCAT PIs are encouraged to implement their research in the real world. To maximize impact, we will fund those research projects that are cutting-edge, impactful, and geared towards implementation and deployment.
  • An industry or government champion is required for a CCAT proposal or will not be funded. Matching funds from industry or state or local government agencies are strongly encouraged. Please email Debby Bezzina ( for assistance in identifying industry or government contacts.
  • Proposals to CCAT must clearly state that the CCAT data management plan (DMP) has been reviewed and the project will be in compliance, noting any deviations from the plan. Also include whether an IRB is required.
  • Because this is the last year of CCAT’s current contract, only projects with a 1-year duration and a budget limit of $200,000 will be awarded.

For questions, please contact:

Proposal Submission Instructions
Proposal Submission to CCAT and Mcity:
Create a single PDF file with the cover sheet and the required proposal elements and submit electronically to: Debby Bezzina ( and Vicki Waters

Proposals for submission to CCAT only:
Create a single PDF file with the cover sheet and the required proposal elements and submit electronically to: Debby Bezzina (

Proposals for submission to Mcity only:
Create a single PDF file with the cover sheet and the required proposal elements and submit electronically to: Vicki Waters (

Important Dates:

  • Proposal Due: January 17, 2022
  • Target CCAT project launch date: April 1, 2022
    Target Mcity project lunch date: July 1, 2022

Required Proposal Elements:

  1. Cover sheet: Complete the proposal cover sheet (Appendix B) and include it as the first page of the project proposal.
  2. Project Abstract: Concise summary of the project.
  3. Proposal Description
    1. Introduction
    2. Technical Approach, including any challenges
    3. Proposal Tasks
    4. Schedule
  4. Letter of commitment from LC members for Mcity proposals and/or industry or government principals for CCAT proposals. (See above)
  5. Appendix A: Response to Evaluation Criteria – write a paragraph or less on each of the following, pulling from your proposal description as necessary. Use the headings as written below (the part in bold). If the section is not applicable to your proposal, under the heading write n/a.
    1. Technical Quality. Describe the project attributes that contribute to the quality of the research.
    2. Technical Feasibility. Describe why the research is feasible.
    3. Uniqueness. What makes this project unique? Include any preliminary research review results.
    4. Innovation. Describe the key innovation and relevance to Mcity’s Outcomes and Domains or CCAT research thrusts.
    5. Outputs. list the type and quantity. Outputs are defined as any new or improved process, practice, technology, software, training aid, or other tangible product resulting from research and development activities. They are used to improve the efficiency, effectiveness, and safety of transportation systems. Examples:
      1. Publications, conference papers, and presentations
      2. Policy Papers
      3. Website(s) or other Internet site(s)
      4. New methodologies, technologies, or techniques
      5. Inventions, patents, and/or licenses
      6. Other products, such as data or databases, physical collections, audio or video products, application software or NetWare, analytical models, educational aids, courses or curricula, instruments, equipment, or research material
    6. Research Champion Involvement and matching funds. How will your champion be actively involved in the research? Does your champion have plans to implement the research results if the project is successful? Do you have any external funding sources or a plan to attract them? If so, please identify the source(s).
    7. Collaboration. Will you be working with any other CCAT organizations? Will you be working with any other industry or government organizations other than your project champion? Are you implementing an advisory board? If yes to any of these questions, provide a description of the organization(s) and their planned involvement.
    8. Impacts: List the type and description of the impact that your research may enable. Impacts are referred to as the effects of outcomes on the transportation system or society in general, such as reduced fatalities, decreased capital or operating costs, community impacts, or environmental benefits.
      For CCAT submissions: The taxpaying public and its representatives deserve a periodic assessment to show them how the investments they make benefit the nation. The resulting impacts are what makes the case for continued UTC funding. Examples:
      1. Improves the operation and safety of the transportation system
      2. Improved processes, technologies, techniques, and skills in addressing transportation issues
      3. Adoption of new technologies, techniques, or practices
      4. Increases the body of knowledge and technologies
      5. Enlarges the pool of people trained to develop knowledge and utilize new technologies and put them to use
      6. Improves the physical, institutional, and information resources that enable people to have access to training and new technologies
    9. Research Deployment. Will you be deploying your research in the real world and are the tasks clearly defined?
    10. Curriculum. Will you integrate your research into a class curriculum?
    11. Students. Will students be working on your research? Mcity requires that students be included in the project team.
    12. Equity. How do you demonstrate your commitment to social equity?
    13. Past performance for Mcity and CCAT funded projects. List patents or invention disclosures, field implementation, policy changes, papers, attracting additional funding, etc., that was the result of past Mcity/CCAT funded projects.
  6. Appendix B: Itemized Budget and budget justification.
    1. Budget Justification. Describe level of effort to perform the tasks in the project description.
    2. Hiring plan for students and/or faculty. (For proposals submitted to CCAT: Preference will be given to projects that will be able to produce candidates for the UTC Student of the Year award.)
    3. Itemized budget:
      1. Faculty and Staff Salaries, with fringe benefits broken out
      2. GSRA Salaries, with fringe benefits broken out
      3. GSRA Tuition
      4. Supplies/Materials
      5. Travel
      6. Equipment
      7. Other
      8. Total Direct Cost Amount
      9. Indirect Cost Amount
      10. Total amount requested
      11. Cost share
      12. Total project cost
  7. Appendix C. Resumes. Short bios of the PIs: no more than two pages for each primary researcher. Bios should include pertinent links including LinkedIn, Twitter, Researchgate, Google Scholar, personal website, etc.

For prospective Mcity PIs
Mcity PIs must comply with the following requirements:

  1. Attend the project kickoff meeting.
  2. Enter the project’s metrics and milestones in Mcity’s Project Tracking site.
  3. Provide quarterly updates and any risks to project timing in Mcity’s Project Tracking site, due 10/10, 1/10, 4/10, and 7/10.
  4. Provide project updates to relevant Mcity working group when requested.
  5. Provide updates in Mcity Leadership Circle General Session when requested.
  6. Present at either spring or fall Mcity Research Review when requested.
  7. Research publications must be submitted for review and comment to any Mcity members who have participated in the project.
  8. Research publications must be uploaded to the Project Tracking site, including any published after the project has been completed.
  9. A final report must be uploaded to the Project Tracking site within 30 days of the project’s completion.

For prospective CCAT PIs
Reporting: CCAT PIs are required to report the following:

  1. Completed UTC form upon award (same as cover sheet).
  2. Data Management Plan upon award (attached).
  3. High-resolution headshot of the PIs, preferably in .png upon award.
  4. Updated UTC form semi annually due 4/15, 10/16.
  5. Status Report semi annually due 4/15, 10/16 for input into the UTC semi-annual progress reports.
  6. Implementation plan (template to be provided), that is updated after each meeting with the advisory panel.
  7. Content U.S. DOT sponsored articles or reports as requested.
  8. Performance indicators annually 10/16 (attached).
  9. Meet with industry and/or government principals and implementation committee 2-3 times per year.
  10. Research Review at the Annual CCAT Global Symposium when requested.
  11. Presentation at a bi-monthly research review as requested.
  12. Engage CCAT students in the meetings with industry/government partners, quarterly briefings and research reviews.
  13. Final Research Report 45 days after project completion.
  14. Final project outputs, outcomes and impacts within 45 days after project completion.

Student Support for CCAT Projects
Grant funds may be used to provide funding to students attending institutions of higher education who participate in activities necessary to the fulfillment of the UTC’s research, education, and technology transfer programs. Funding provided to a student, which may be in the form of wages or tuition support, must be compensation for work performed within the UTC Program. Such work must be used to fulfill a part of the student’s degree program. This type of funding to students is considered to be compensation paid as, or in lieu of, wages for work as described in § 200.466 “Scholarships and student aid costs” of the Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards.

In addition to the type of student funding described above, scholarships and summer internships utilizing UTC funding may be offered to students attending institutions of higher education studying within an academic program that is relevant to the UTC Program’s purpose.

Students who are non-citizens can be paid wages for work on the Grant as those wages are “work- related” compensation. In addition, if the tuition waiver is based on a student’s work on the Grant then this type of financial support is work-related compensation and can be given to a non-citizen student.

Foreign Travel for CCAT Projects

  1. U.S. DOT approval is required for foreign travel.
  2. Submit requests for foreign travel to the Managing Director (Debby Bezzina) before making travel arrangements and at least 6 weeks prior to planned departure. Include:
    1. The need for the proposed travel and the value to be gained by the Center
    2. Written justification that states the name and relationship of the traveler to the UTC,
    3. Description of how the travel will further the goals of the UTC Program,
    4. A detailed itinerary (i.e., travel dates, location, lodging) and breakdown of planned expenses (i.e., airfare cost, lodging cost, ground transportation, and per diem) with a final total cost, and
    5. The endorsement of the Center Director (Henry Liu).

Program Management for CCAT PIs

  1. Attend bi-monthly PI meetings.

Appendix A: Proposal Evaluation Criteria (preliminary)

Evaluation CriteriaScaleWeighting
Technical Quality of the proposed research1 = Poor
2 = Fair
3 = Good
4 = Very Good
5 = Excellent
Technical Feasibility of the proposed research1 = Poor
2 = Fair
3 = Good
4 = Very Good
5 = Excellent
Innovation and/or uniqueness in terms of methodology, technology or integration1 = Poor
2 = Fair
3 = Good
4 = Very Good
5 = Excellent
OUTPUTS A: Disseminate research results through publications, conference papers, and policy papers0 = final report only
3 = 1 or 2 papers/publications
5 = More than 2 papers/publications
OUTPUTS B: Develops inventions, new methodologies or other products0 = not likely
3 = actively seeking patents
5 = actively seeking licensing and/or start up
Research Champion Strength1 = Poor, champion is not likely to implement the research results
3 = Very Good, champion will actively engage in the research
5 = Excellent, industry champion engaged and partially funding
Collaboration Strength1 = no collaboration except the champion
3 = some outside collaboration
5 = advisory board
IMPACTS: Reduces fatalities, decreases capital or operating costs, improves the community, positively impacts the environment0 = not likely
3 = actively seeking impacts in at least one area
5 = actively seeking impacts in at least 3 or more areas
Research Deployment Viability & Deployment Tasks0 = not likely
3 = strong potential
5 = specific project goal
Funding from sources other than UTC (matching funding)0 = none
1 = 10%
2 = 25% match
3 = 50% match
4 = 75% match
5 = 100% match
Integrates research into class curriculum0 = no curriculum will be developed
3 = 1 or more course module will be developed
5 = course modules includes hands-on work or guest speakers
Commitment to hiring students to work on the project0 = no students required to complete project goals
3 = at least one student will work on the project
5 = 3 or more students will work on the project

Appendix B: Proposal Coversheet

Project Title
PIsPICo-PIs (bullet list if more than one)
Telephone #
Industry or Government Principal, organization, and contact information (CCAT)
LC Member Champion and contact information (Mcity)
Most relevant CCAT research thrusts (choose all applicable)_____ Enabling Technology
_____ Policy & Planning
_____ Human Factors
_____ Infrastructure Design & Management
_____ Control & Operations
_____ Modeling & Implementation
Most relevant Mcity research topic (choose all applicable)_____ Safety
_____ Efficiency
_____ Accessibility/Equity
_____ Commercial/Economic Viability
Funding Request
Matching Funds and Source (if any)
Total Project Cost
Contract NumberLeave Blank until Project Approval
Project Abstract
High-level implementation plan
Project Metrics
Web Links:Leave Blank until Project Approval