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Exploratory Advanced Research Program

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Preparing for the Future of Highway Transportation

Special Libraries Association 2009 Conference

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June 16, 2009


  • FHWA Exploratory Advanced Research (EAR) Purpose and Process
  • EAR impact on scientific knowledge and research capacity)

EAR Key Process

  • Focus on high-risk, high payoff research
  • All projects begin with initial stage research (e.g. scanning, literature review, etc.)
    • Assure leverage of the most recent, relevant and advanced research from all fields
  • Not all initial stage research leads to (or is expected to lead to) follow-on or actionable results
  • Merit review is used to enhance the quality of research processes and results

Current Partnerships

  • Academic
    • University Transportation Centers, other universities
  • Government
    • Other Federal Agencies, State, Local
  • Non-Governmental, Non-Profit
  • Industry

Key Partnerships

  • Research stakeholders are involved throughout
    • From scoping of focus areas through communication of research results
  • Stakeholders include
    • Academic
    • Government: Other Federal Agencies, State, Local, International
    • Industry: Businesses, Associations

EAR FY 09 Focus Areas

  • Breakthrough concept for integrating highway safety and system operations
  • Nanoscale research
  • Massive scale systems
  • Human behavior in traffic
  • Financing highways for the next century
  • New technologies and advanced policies for energy and resource conservation

Building Knowledge

  • Raising strategic and situational awareness
    • Accelerating trends
    • Responding to new directions
  • Synthetic and cross-cutting topic areas
    • Learning communities
    • Multi-disciplinary approaches

Research Capacity

  • Peer learning
    • Access to new ideas and methods through partnerships, fellowships
  • Bootstrapping
    • Improving research processes; better modeling, measurements
  • Research process evaluation

So what is the future of transportation?

  • Traffic signals that know when vehicles are arriving
  • Bridges that heal themselves
  • Roadways that remove pollution from the air, water

For more information

See the EAR Program website located at www.fhwa.dot.gov/advancedresearch or Contact David Kuehn, EAR Program Manager, at (202) 493-3414 or david.kuehn@dot.gov

Thank You


Exploratory Advanced Research Program

Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000
Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center | 6300 Georgetown Pike | McLean, VA | 22101