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49 U.S. Code § 31108 - Motor carrier research and technology program

(a) Research, Technology, and Technology Transfer Activities.—
(1) Establishment.—
The Secretary of Transportation shall establish and carry out a motor carrier and motor coach research and technology program.
(2) Multiyear plan.—
The program must include a multi-year research plan that focuses on nonredundant innovative research and shall be coordinated with other research programs or projects ongoing or planned within the Department of Transportation, as appropriate.
(3) Research, development, and technology transfer activities.—The Secretary may carry out under the program research, development, technology, and technology transfer activities with respect to—
the causes of accidents, injuries, and fatalities involving commercial motor vehicles;
means of reducing the number and severity of accidents, injuries, and fatalities involving commercial motor vehicles;
improving the safety and efficiency of commercial motor vehicles through technological innovation and improvement;
improving technology used by enforcement officers when conducting roadside inspections and compliance reviews to increase efficiency and information transfers; and
increasing the safety and security of hazardous materials transportation.
(4) Tests and development.—
The Secretary may test, develop, or assist in testing and developing any material, invention, patented article, or process related to the research and technology program.
(5) Training.—
The Secretary may use the funds made available to carry out this section for training or education of commercial motor vehicle safety personnel, including training in accident reconstruction and detection of controlled substances or other contraband and stolen cargo or vehicles.
(6) Procedures.—The Secretary may carry out this section—
in cooperation with other Federal departments, agencies, and instrumentalities and Federal laboratories; or
by making grants to, or entering into contracts and cooperative agreements with, any Federal laboratory, State agency, authority, association, institution, for-profit or nonprofit corporation, organization, foreign country, or person.
(7) Development and promotion of use of products.—
The Secretary shall use funds made available to carry out this section to develop, administer, communicate, and promote the use of products of research, technology, and technology transfer programs under this section.
(b) Collaborative Research and Development.—
(1) In general.—To advance innovative solutions to problems involving commercial motor vehicle and motor carrier safety, security, and efficiency, and to stimulate the deployment of emerging technology, the Secretary may carry out, on a cost-shared basis, collaborative research and development with—
non-Federal entities, including State and local governments, foreign governments, colleges and universities, corporations, institutions, partnerships, and sole proprietorships that are incorporated or established under the laws of any State; and
Federal laboratories.
(2) Cooperative agreements.—
In carrying out this subsection, the Secretary may enter into cooperative research and development agreements (as defined in section 12 of the Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980 (15 U.S.C. 3710a)).
(3) Cost sharing.—
(A) Federal share.—
The Federal share of the cost of activities carried out under a cooperative research and development agreement entered into under this subsection shall not exceed 50 percent; except that, if there is substantial public interest or benefit associated with any such activity, the Secretary may approve a greater Federal share.
(B) Treatment of directly incurred non-federal costs.—
All costs directly incurred by the non-Federal partners, including personnel, travel, and hardware or software development costs, shall be credited toward the non-Federal share of the cost of the activities described in subparagraph (A).
(4) Use of technology.—
The research, development, or use of a technology under a cooperative research and development agreement entered into under this subsection, including the terms under which the technology may be licensed and the resulting royalties may be distributed, shall be subject to the Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980 (15 U.S.C. 3701 et seq.).

Historical and Revision Notes



Source (U.S. Code)

Source (Statutes at Large)



Dec. 18, 1991, Pub. L. 102–240, § 4002(j), 105 Stat. 2144.

The words “safety duties and powers” are substituted for “safety functions” for clarity and consistency in the revised title. The reference to fiscal year 1992 is omitted as obsolete.

Editorial Notes
References in Text

The Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980, referred to in subsec. (b)(4), is Pub. L. 96–480, Oct. 21, 1980, 94 Stat. 2311, as amended, which is classified generally to chapter 63 (§ 3701 et seq.) of Title 15, Commerce and Trade. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 3701 of Title 15 and Tables.


2005—Pub. L. 109–59 amended section catchline and text generally. Prior to amendment, text read as follows: “Not more than $_____ may be appropriated to the Secretary of Transportation for the fiscal year ending September 30, 19_, to carry out the safety duties and powers of the Federal Highway Administration.”