(1) The Department of Transportation, in consultation with the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, shall, subject to appropriation, develop the Florida Smart City Challenge Grant Program and establish grant award requirements for municipalities or regions for the purpose of receiving grant awards. Grant applicants must demonstrate and document the adoption of emerging technologies and their impact on the transportation system and must address at least the following focus areas:
(a) Autonomous vehicles.
(b) Connected vehicles.
(c) Sensor-based infrastructure.
(d) Collecting and using data.
(e) Electric vehicles, including charging stations.
(f) Developing strategic models and partnerships.
(2) The goals of the grant program include, but are not limited to:
(a) Identifying transportation challenges and identifying how emerging technologies can address those challenges.
(b) Determining the emerging technologies and strategies that have the potential to provide the most significant impacts.
(c) Encouraging municipalities to take significant steps to integrate emerging technologies into their day-to-day operations.
(d) Identifying the barriers to implementing the grant program and communicating those barriers to the Legislature and appropriate agencies and organizations.
(e) Leveraging the initial grant to attract additional public and private investments.
(f) Increasing the state’s competitiveness in the pursuit of grants from the United States Department of Transportation, the United States Department of Energy, and other federal agencies.
(g) Committing to the continued operation of programs implemented in connection with the grant.
(h) Serving as a model for municipalities nationwide.
(i) Documenting the costs and impacts of the grant program and lessons learned during implementation.
(j) Identifying solutions that will demonstrate local or regional economic impact.
(3) The Department of Transportation shall develop eligibility, application, and selection criteria for the receipt of grants and a plan for the promotion of the grant program to municipalities or regions of this state as an opportunity to compete for grant funding, including the award of grants to a single recipient and secondary grants to specific projects of merit within other applications. The Department of Transportation may contract with a third party that demonstrates knowledge and expertise in the focuses and goals of this section to provide guidance in the development of the requirements of this section.
(4) On or before January 1, 2018, the Department of Transportation shall submit the grant program guidelines and plans for promotion of the grant program to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
(5) This section expires July 1, 2018.