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Exploratory Advanced Research Program

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Figure shows four stacked photos in a square arrangement.  The top left photo is a street scene showing homes and parked cars to the right and a crossing walk with a pedestrian crossing the street on the right of the photo.  There is a grey arrow pointing to the right between the left and right photos. The top right photo is the same street scene but one of the three parked cars is colored bright green, one is red, and one is blue. The bottom left and right photos are all black and has the outlines of the three parked cars reversed out in white. The photos demonstrate the ability to identify and separate cars automatically in an image.

Breakthroughs in Computer Vision for Highway Transportation Research

"Highway transportation researchers are collecting and analyzing an increasing amount of video data. While the research community is fortunate to be able to collect more and better data, the amount of data has the potential to overwhelm the capacity to assess the data using current methods. FHWA’s Exploratory Advanced Research Program working with the Office of Safety R&D is exploring breakthroughs in machine learning for automating extraction of safety data from video files to dramatically reduce the costs of using these data, making them accessible to the widest possible pool of researchers." [more]


Highlighted Activities

The Impact of Automated Transit, Pedestrian, and Bicycling Facilities on Urban Travel Patterns

A recent summary report from the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA’s) Exploratory Advanced Research (EAR) Program provides an overview of research into the potential of a hypothetical driverless vehicle to improve access to and use of an available rapid-transit rail service. Investigators for the EAR-Program–sponsored project examined whether the use of rapid transit might be increased by implementing an automated high-frequency community shuttle service to the transit station and improving urban design near the stations to accommodate pedestrians and cyclists. [More]

Cooperative Adaptive Cruise Control: Merging Behavior

"Cooperative Adaptive Cruise Control (CACC): Investigation of Key Human Factors Issues" is an Exploratory Advanced Research Program project designed to investigate CACC as a way to address congestion and safety issues on today’s highway system [More]

Exploratory Advanced Research Program


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]

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