DOT head reveals Obama’s infrastructure investment

U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Anthony Foxx announced President Obama’s Fiscal Year 2016 Budget for the DOT on Feb. 2—a proposal that includes funding to advance research and autonomous vehicles.

The $94.7 billion proposal will support infrastructure needed to promote long-term economic growth and jobs for the 21st century.

At a town hall meeting at Google headquarters in Mountain View, California, Foxx emphasized the president’s budget while announcing his Beyond Traffic report, which examines future transportation trends and choices.

“This administration is looking toward the horizon – the future – but to do this we need Congress’ partnership,” Foxx said.

Obama's budget proposal would support the development of a high-performance rail system; apportion funds to rebuild America’s roads and bridges; improve transit and passenger rail service; and support multi-modal freight programs to strengthen America’s global competitiveness. Additionally, it would encourage private sector investment by sponsoring credit assistance for significant transportation projects.

The budget also reinforces the DOT's commitment to safety by creating a new Office of Safety Oversight housed in the Office of the Secretary. The six-year proposal increases funding to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to address safety defects on U.S. highways, bridges and commuter systems.

The proposed budget also promotes modernization to provide for research on future vehicle automation (V2V) technology, which research estimates has the potential to reduce 70 to 80 percent of vehicle crashes. It also continues efforts to modernize America’s air-traffic control system.

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