U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
Federal Highway Administration Research and Technology
Exploratory Advanced Research Program
Focus areas provide direction on the research objectives of the EAR Program. A focus area is a defined topic area where breakthroughs are most needed, or where there is high potential for long-term, higher-risk research to lead to dramatic improvements.
FHWA has and continues to work with partners in the research community to develop and modify focus areas for the EAR Program.
Current Areas of Interest
- Connected Highway and Vehicle System Concepts —This focus area emphasizes the longer term needs to reach critical FHWA safety and mobility goals by developing the theory for and assessing the feasibility of systems that leapfrog current technological approaches for linking infrastructure with future vehicle and personal mobility technology.
- Breakthrough Concepts in Material Science —This focus area leverages new approaches in materials science to produce innovative new highway materials with characteristics that enable enhanced functionality (including multi functionality), constructability, sustainability, cost effectiveness or operating characteristics of highway infrastructure and system monitoring sensors to enhance highway safety, reliability, and resilience.
- Human Behavior and Travel Choices —This focus area leverages research concepts from the social sciences, including psychology and economics, along with more traditional research for improving safety, reducing congestion, and improving the livability of the Nation's communities.
- Technology for Assessing Performance — This focus area seeks novel approaches and breakthrough technology that will revolutionize the use of performance management in the highway sector.
- New Technology and Advanced Policies for Energy and Resource Conservation —This focus area cuts across infrastructure, operations, and societal and complex natural systems that support innovative methods for reducing highway industry costs and move toward sustainability
Next-Generation Energy Technologies for Connected and Automated on-Road Vehicles: NEXTCAR
The U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) announced $30 million in funding for a NEXT-Generation Energy Technologies for Connected and Automated on-Road-vehicles (NEXTCAR) program that explores the development of new and emerging vehicle dynamic and powertrain (VD&PT) control technologies to reduce the energy consumption of future vehicles through the use of connectivity and vehicle automation. [More]
National Science Foundation’s Cyber-physical Systems Solicitation is Open
The Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA’s) Exploratory Advanced Research (EAR) Program is working closely with the National Science Foundation (NSF) and other Federal agencies on cyber-physical systems (CPS), which are engineered systems that are built from, and depend upon, the seamless integration of computational algorithms and physical components. NSF has just released a solicitation for a unique opportunity for investigators to support this CPS program. FHWA has interest in research and development that provides improved safety, mobility, and energy conservation in the development and operation of the Nation’s highway system. [More]
Request for Information for Inductive Charging Systems and Roadway Pavement Design and Durability
Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA’s) Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center (TFHRC) and FHWA’s Exploratory Advanced Research (EAR) Program have issued a Request for Information (RFI) to find organizations that have developed inductive charging systems for placement in roadway pavement. [More]
NRC Postdoctoral Fellows Help EAR Program Solve Transportation Issues
The Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center (TFHRC) conducts research across a wide range of topics and disciplines. To supplement the expertise of the permanent staff, it is important to bring in researchers with the appropriate backgrounds to investigate specific problems at short-term basis. Through the Exploratory Advanced Research (EAR) Program, FHWA utilizes the Resident Associates (or Postdoctoral Fellows) program of the National Research Council (NRC) for this purpose. The NRC provides a process for selecting candidates on a competitive merit basis and subsequently for administration of the Resident Fellows during their tenures at FHWA. [More]