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Research and Development (R&D) Project Sites

Project Information
Project ID:   FHWA-PROJ-11-0007
Project Name:   Scan International Technologies and Programs for Vehicle-Highway Cooperation
Project Status:   Completed
Start Date:  January 4, 2011
End Date:  December 31, 2012
Contact Information
Last Name:  Ferlis
First Name:  Robert A (Bob)
Telephone:  202-493-3268
E-mail:  robert.ferlis@dot.gov
Office:   Office of Operations Research and Development
Team:   Operations Research and Development [HRDO-2]
Program:   Exploratory Advanced Research
Project detail
Project Description:   This proposed initial stage research would conduct a scan of these technology resources and research results, and then summarize the results into a report and presentation. These products would provide content for researchers already active, and also could encourage U.S. stakeholders to recognize the potential and importance of this area.  The results of the proposed scan could also provide information about the potential value of convening experts to validate the concepts and to help establish research in the United States that complements and leverages work done internationally. For example, scan products could be used to encourage modal partners, among others, to better understand, to become more interested, and to support these concepts for funding of additional developmental research and even technology demonstrations. Recent research recognizes that freeway travel is likely the nearest opportunity for deploying vehicle automation concepts, particularly because the Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) program is funding significant research in vehicle-to-vehicle communication systems that might enable new mobility applications based on vehicle automation as well.
The key project objectives are to assess whether:
(1) Vehicle automation technologies enabled by vehicle-highway cooperation can significantly improve mobility.
(2) Research and technology innovations in Japan and Europe can be identified and transferred to strengthen the technology base in the United States.
(3) The state of technology development and programs available internationally can likely stimulate and encourage parallel research investments in the United States.
Background Information:   Since the National Automated Highway Consortium, sponsored by the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT), was disbanded in 1998, there has been continued interest in the United States to advance the technologies despite the significant challenges recognized for implementation. These challenges were summarized in an article in Public Roads (Ferlis, 2007). The recent Exploratory Advanced Research (EAR) Program handoff workshop, which included lengthy discussions about the challenges of moving the practical application of these concepts from the advanced research stage to the developmental research stage, underlined the need to leverage the international work. Dr. Steven Shladover, the principle investigator of the Exploratory Advanced Research (EAR) Program sponsored project, “Development and Evaluation of Selected Mobility Applications for VII,” in particular, emphasized the major investments that have already been made in Japan and the European Union that have “left the U.S. behind” despite our early leadership in this area.  The U.S. connected vehicle program is promoting vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication technologies needed as enabling technologies for vehicle automation, and is sponsoring other important research to develop mobility, safety, and environmental enhancement applications. However, this work is largely directed toward nearer-term applications and the data resources needed, and additional research and promotion of longer-term applications that might benefit from vehicle automation technologies is needed to kindle interest, especially by the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT), and to leverage current EAR Program projects and investments.  A detailed scan of the technical literature conducted by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) in 2009 identified many sources of information, and highlighted the continuing advancements of enabling technologies and the strong technical basis for these concepts. In addition, the International Task Force on Vehicle-Highway Automation (ITFVHA), which hosts an international meeting every year on this topic, has brought out many major contributors and allowed collaboration among the research community.  The results of the scan will be briefed to the USDOT and external stakeholders, including the organization and conduct of a Transportation Research Board workshop.
Product Type:   Corporate publication
Promotional materials
Research report
Test Methodology:   Review literature, scan international conferences, contact experts, and provide information to the United States Department of Transportation.
Expected Benefits:   The expected benefits are improved mobility, reduced congestion and delay, safety, and environmental performance.
Deliverables: 1. Name: Literature review.
Product Type(s): Research report
Description: The deliverable will summarize results of international scan of research, technologies, and programs.
Publication URL(s):
2. Name: Technical Report
Product Type(s): Research report, Promotional materials
Description: The report summarizes research findings and recommendations that might assist stakeholders in continuing the research and in deployment.
3. Name: Conduct Technical Workshop
Product Type(s): Promotional materials
Description: A technical workshop will provide a slideshow and brief the United States Department of Transportation staff and others on the research findings and recommendations.
4. Name: Support Transportation Review Board Workshop on Future of Road Vehicle Automation
Product Type(s): Research report, Support
Description: Work collaboratively with Transportation Research Board committee members to organize and deliver workshop.
5. Name: Distribution Report
Product Type(s): Research report
Description: Revise final report intended for broad audience.
6. Name: Report for wider distribution of research results.
Product Type(s): Research report, Techbrief, Promotional materials, Corporate publication
Description: The technical report from the scan will be edited to include the literature review results and for wider distribution of the report.
FHWA Topics:   Research/Technologies--FHWA Research and Technology
TRT Terms:   Intelligent Transportation Systems
Automated Vehicle Control
Vehicle to Vehicle Communications
Traffic Congestion
FHWA Disciplines:   Operations
Subject Areas:   Research
Operations and Traffic Management
Vehicles and Equipment


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