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SBIR Success Stories Archive

U.S. DOT SBIR success stories highlight how SBIR program funding supports small businesses in developing new and innovative technologies that benefit the U.S. DOT and the public.

Understanding Traffic Systems with Innovative Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection

Parkway road sign

Agencies: Federal Highway Administration, Federal Transit Administration
Company: Migma Systems, Inc.
Product: MigmaCount

Migma Count is a pedestrian detection and counting technology to provide urban planners, designers, and DOT agencies a better understanding of their traffic systems. The technology uses a combination of a high resolution IR LED camera and a laser scanner to separate and count pedestrians and cyclists traveling individually and/or in groups...continue reading.

Traffic Monitoring Sensors Provide Real-Time Data

Parkway road sign

Agency: Federal Highway Administration  
Company: Intelligent Automation, Inc.
Product: Low Profile Microwave Radar and Wi-Fi Sensors for Visually Unobtrusive Vehicle Detection and Travel Time Monitoring

With the support of the U.S. DOT SBIR program, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), and the National Park Service (NPS), Intelligent Automation, Inc., developed, tested, and deployed a low profile, multi-sensor, low power-consumption, light-weight, and visually Unobtrusive Traffic Monitoring System (UTMS)...continue reading.

Measuring Traffic Performance through Innovative Low-Cost Solutions

Two wavelength charts that show similar data, indicating that data on the same tanker truck has been captured at two different points along a highway that incorporates Inductive Loop Signature technology.

Agency: Federal Highway Administration  
Company: CLR Analytics, Inc. 
Product: Inductive Loop Signature (ILS) tracking system 

Approximately 6 million commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers travel along our nation’s roadways on an annual basis. Capturing CMV travel data is an essential component of improving and maintaining roadway safety. Through U.S. DOT’s SBIR program, CLR Analytics, Inc. is addressing the limitations of current CMV data collection technologies with a new low-cost, low-maintenance device that eliminates the need for drivers to stop for inspections or pull over at weigh stations...continue reading.

New Technology Aims to Simplify Tractor-Trailer Fleet Management

Agency: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration 
Company: Intelligent Automation Inc.
Product: The Automated Trailer VIN Identification and Sequencing System (TRAVIS)

With an increased demand for expedited shipping and receiving, 68 percent of all goods we receive are hauled by tractor-trailers. Through U.S. DOT's SBIR program, Intelligent Automation Inc. developed a new vehicle identification number (VIN) technology that can improve tractor-trailer location accuracy and simplify fleet management...continue reading.

An App for Monitoring Tractor-Trailers’ Fuel Usage

Agency:  Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration 
Company: Mainstream Engineering Corporation
Product: Ottobon

In 2014, more than 2.5 million registered tractor-trailers in the United States traveled 279.1 billion miles, so it’s crucial that large trucks are mindful of their fuel efficiency. Through U.S. DOT’s SBIR program, Mainstream Engineering Corporation developed a free vehicle-monitoring app that performs trip diagnostics that could lead to major money-saving alterations for drivers and motor carriers...continue reading.

DOTWASH Tackles Invasive Species Catching a Ride on Construction Vehicles

Agency: Federal Highway Administration
Company: S-K Environmental
Product: DOTWASH

Invasive species and noxious weeds can destroy entire ecosystems, stemming from something as seemingly innocuous as a seed latching to the bottom of a dump truck. Through the SBIR Program, S-K Environmental developed a novel solution for construction sites that has a 97 percent success rate...continue reading.

New Simulation Software Helps Pilots Combat Spatial Disorientation

A photo of a simulator cab at NASA Ames tilting upwards to create a “pitch-up” scenario that is known to cause spatial disorientAgency: Federal Aviation Administration
Company: Systems Technology Inc. (STI)
Product: Motion system software update

Spatial disorientation is a factor in roughly 10 percent of loss-of-control events, which are the leading cause of fatal accidents in commercial aircraft. STI developed technology that could be used with existing simulation equipment to train pilots to recognize and react to spatial disorientation in flight...continue reading.

SBIR-Funded Sensors Detect Pipeline Stresses Early, Mitigating Future Problems

A man tests a pipeline.Agency: Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration
Company: Generation 2 Materials Technology, LLC (G2MT)
Product: Non-destructive pipeline stress analysis sensor

G2MT's sensors are able to determine the through-thickness residual stresses of materials that are built to withstand pressure, which can reveal pipeline stressors before they are visible, and before they cause damage...continue reading.


A New Pavement System Supported by Solar Panels?

Hexagonal, lit-up solar road panels.

Agency: Federal Highway Administration
Company: Solar Roadways Inc.
Product: Solar Roadways

A self-sustaining pavement, made from solar panels, could potentially eliminate the current practice of replacing asphalt, and transform the nation’s roadways into an intelligent pavement system...continue reading.

A New, Safer Way to Cross the Street

A woman crosses the street in front of a taxi while looking at her phone.

Agency: Federal Highway Administration
Company: Savari Inc.
Product: SmartCross

The SmartCross application interfaces with traffic signal systems that control the traffic lights and receives information about the pedestrian signal...continue reading.

Have an SBIR success story to tell? Contact us at

Volpe administers the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program for U.S. DOT and helps U.S. DOT’s operating administrations identify topics and solutions to some of our nation’s most pressing transportation challenges.

Through SBIR, Volpe has awarded more than $78 million in small business funding over the last 10 years on behalf of DOT’s eight participating operating administrations.

Last updated: Thursday, July 15, 2021