Skip to contentUnited States Department of Transportation - Federal Highway Administration FHWA Home
Federal Highway Administration Research and Technology: Coordinating, Developing, and Delivering Highway Transportation Innovations



Preparing for the Future of Highway Transportation

Special Libraries Association 2009 Conference

View PDF (142 kb)

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 or Contact David Kuehn, EAR Program Manager, at (202) 493-3414 or

Thank You


Research Highlights


Exploratory Advanced Research Program Brochure,(FHWA-HRT-13-071)- November 2013

Multimedia Downloads

Investigating Advanced Traffic Signal Control, (N/A)- April 2011

Project Fact Sheets

Efficient and Safe Merging Solutions - Advanced Freeway Merge Assistance: Harnessing The Potential of Connected Vehicles,(FHWA-HRT-14-045)- February 2014


Multiscale Materials Modeling Workshop Summary Report April 23-24, 2013(FHWA-HRT-13-103)- December 2013

Scanning and Convening Activities Fact Sheets

Exploring Bridge Maintenance and Asset Management,(FHWA-HRT-11-052)- June 2011


Multiscale Materials Modeling Workshop Summary Report April 23-24, 2013(FHWA-HRT-13-103)- December 2013

Web Articles

For Georgia State Students, EAR Program Opens a Window on Transportation Research ()- March 2014