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Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Research and Technology Agenda


Challenge: Preparing for the Future


Preparing for the Future

Federal Highway Administration's vision for the Nation’s roadways extends beyond today’s challenges, anticipating the emerging issues of tomorrow.

FHWA's vision for the Nation’s roadways extends beyond today’s challenges, anticipating the emerging issues of tomorrow.

Signal systems that adapt to traffic conditions, advanced materials for paving and bridge building, and high-speed tolling are all examples of technologies that were only ideas just a short time ago, but are now becoming incorporated into the construction, maintenance, and operation of the Nation's highway system. FHWA is keeping the future in sight, standing ready to transform today's big ideas into the innovations of tomorrow.

The challenges facing transportation agencies continue to change. Technology, demographics, the environment, and the economy continue to evolve. FHWA is keeping pace, forecasting future passenger and freight transportation needs for a range of scenarios and building strong relationships with researchers to more quickly track and identify benefits of new scientific discoveries. FHWA is helping equip the transportation workforce to address emerging trends such as innovative finance and program delivery methods and new techniques for building long-range considerations into today's policies.

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Discover how FHWA is Preparing for the Future by exploring the primary offices and programs responsible for meeting this challenge.


Showcase Activities

A workshop brought together researchers to facilitate increased use of new methods for modeling and simulating traffic and driver behavior (Exploratory Advanced Research).

A study of the next generation of travelers (Policy) is analyzing the intersection of emerging social, demographic, and technological trends as well as their potential impact on current and future travel behavior of youths under the age of 30 in the United States.

The IPD (Innovative Program Delivery) Academy (Innovative Program Delivery) helps State, local, and Federal transportation agencies apply concepts such as public-private partnerships, project finance, and tolling that help stretch limited funds.

Research to develop Vehicle-to-Infrastructure communications technologies, applications, and standards (Safety) is laying a foundation for future safety systems that will help avoid or mitigate motor vehicles crashes.