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Federal Highway Administration Research and Technology: Coordinating, Developing, and Delivering Highway Transportation Innovations


The photo on the Left shows true detections and typical false positives. People are tracked in an urban environment on sidewalks using white bounding boxes. Blue bounding boxes outline trees and objects.

The photo on the Right shows true detections and typical false positives. People are tracked using white bounding boxes in an urban environment with snow covering the ground. The white boxes indicate possible pedestrian objects.

EAR Program Explores Pedestrian Sensing Using Layered Object Recognition

While several researchers have developed pedestrian detection systems, most of these systems have a high false positive rate of detection that incorrectly detects objects as pedestrians. The approach in this project attempts to alleviate this problem by following a layered approach of using multiple cues (depth, motion, shape, and appearance) to detect, track, and classify pedestrians. [more]



Broad Agency Announcement

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) issued a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) for the Exploratory Advanced Research (EAR) Program that would cover the following topics:

  • Topic 1: Virtual Nondestructive Evaluation Laboratory for Highway Structures
  • Topic 2: Applications of Massive Data and Data Mining Techniques Relevant to Safety Data
  • Topic 3A: Behavioral based (or agent based) National Freight Demand Modeling
  • Topic 3B: Freight Data Development and Enhancement to Support National Freight Transportation Analysis, Modeling, and Forecasting Practices

The BAA will close on April 23, 2014.

For a copy of the full notice, please see the announcement posted at

FHWA Provides Opportunity for International Research Partnerships

The Federal Highway Administration is partnering with other national road administrations in the Infravation Program with the goal of advancing innovative, near-market materials or processes that will make highway infrastructure last longer, perform more efficiently, and cost less. [More]


Highlighted Activities

For Georgia State Students, EAR Program Opens a Window on Transportation Research

For several GSU students, participating in the EAR Program project opened up a new window on transportation issues. [More]

EAR Program Sponsored Project at SXSW

The Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) Exploratory Advanced Research (EAR) Program has been investigating advanced technologies in computer vision, robotics, and artificial intelligence to improve mobility and navigation of travelers with vision impairment. Mohammed Yousuf, a research engineer with the FHWA Office of Operations R&D and the technical point of contact for an EAR Program-sponsored research project, will be presenting at the South by Southwest (SXSW) conference scheduled for March 7-16, 2014, in Austin, TX.  Yousuf will be one of the presenters for a session on “Gaining Vision the Robotic Way.” This session will explore the opportunities associated with advances in sensing and vision-free interfaces and robotic technology for route planning and guidance. Experts from government, academia, and the private sector will discuss emerging trends in transportation and technology, and look for ways to collaboratively work to further the research. Further details about the session are available at

Congestion Pricing Experiments and the Effects on Driver Choices

When and why drivers choose a priced or tolled facility over an untolled but congested parallel route is the subject of 3-year project funded by FHWA’s Exploratory Advanced Research (EAR) Program. The project, "Experiments on Driving under Uncertain Congestion Conditions and the Effects on Traffic Networks from Congestion Pricing Initiatives," examines how driver's risk preferences influence their choice of route and travel departure time. On July 9-10, 2013, in Seattle, Washington, during FHWA’s and the Transportation Research Board’s National Congestion Pricing Conference, Karen White of FHWA discussed the EAR project and highlighted the use of the project’s experimental and behavioral economics tools for highway research. [More]

Computer Vision in Highway Transportation Research

Highway transportation research is 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. [More]

Emission Reductions, Fuel Savings Demonstrated at Turner-Fairbank

On August 23, researchers used TFHRC’s intelligent intersection to provide Signal Phase and Timing (SPaT) and Geometric Intersection Description (GID) data to a test vehicle equipped with an onboard dedicated short-range communication (DSRC) modem, onboard computer processor, and a display device to provide the driver with speed advice. See how this helps cut emissions and energy [More]

Research on the Future

Research of the future

While no one can predict the future, it is important to consider the forces—both likely and unlikely—that are shaping the future. For highway research, this can mean understanding diverse forces from global population trends, to climate change, to breakthroughs in material science. For Exploratory Advanced Research this means looking as much as 30 to 50 years in the future. [more]

Research Highlights

picture of nanotechnology


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