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Federal Highway Administration Research and Technology
Exploratory Advanced Research Program

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Next Generation Solutions for System Operations and Reducing Congestion

Current research in this focus area

Project Title and Short Description



Advanced Integration of Private Sector Freight Information with Public Sector Traffic Information to Reduce Metropolitan Congestion (Freight Congestion Mitigation Decision Support System)

SAIC with Kansas City Cross Town Improvement Project (C-TIP)


Next Generation of Smart Traffic Signals - A self-adaptive traffic signal system that observes (through camera and other sensors) the traffic in the network, predicts the traffic demands and conditions, and sets phase durations to optimize an objective specified by the jurisdiction.
Fact sheet here.

University of Arizona ATLAS Center with City of Tucson and Maricopa County

Project on hold

Development and Evaluation of Selected Mobility Applications for VII - Research will design, test, and evaluate three innovative ways of using wireless communication capabilities from VII to improve mobility.
Fact sheet here.

California PATH Program with Caltrans

Underway with completion anticipated in June 2011

Intelligent Multi-Sensor Measurements to Enhance Vehicle Navigation and Safety Systems - This research aims to develop an accurate, robust, and reliable vehicle positioning system capable of providing accurate high-update-rate lane-level measurements for future navigation and control (safety) systems.
Fact sheet here.

Auburn University GPS and Vehicle Dynamics Lab with IBEO Automobile Sensors


Intersection Control For Autonomous Vehicles - Research will consider the impact of autonomous vehicles on urban traffic infrastructure, specifically at intersections. The aim is to dramatically decrease time wasted at intersections and increase vehicle throughput on roads.
Fact sheet here.

University of Texas at Austin

Underway with completion anticipated in September 2011

Freeway Merge Assistance – This project will develop and evaluate three algorithms designed to improve freeway merging: dynamic lane control, gap-responsive metering, and merge control. These algorithms will be developed specifically to take advantage of the capabilities provided by IntelliDrive. Then, the research will utilize the enhanced simulation environment to evaluate the safety and efficiency impacts of these algorithms under different scenarios of equipped/non-equipped vehicles.

University of Virginia

Underway with completion anticipated in October 2011

Next Generation Vehicle Positioning in GPS -Degraded Environments for Vehicle Safety and Automation Systems – By combining three technology areas, the research seeks to develop an integrated system that exploits the strengths of each technique. First, terrain-based localization (based on precise measurements of vehicle pitch and roll, combined with wheel odometry) can be readily used to find the vehicle’s absolute longitudinal position within a pre-mapped highway segment – compensating for drift which occurs in dead-reckoning systems in long longitudinal stretches of road. Secondly, visual odometry keys upon visual landmarks at a detailed level to correlate position to a (visually) premapped road segment to find vehicle position along the roadway. The third technology approach relies on radio frequency (RF) ranging based on DSRC radio technology.
Fact sheet here.

Auburn University

Underway with completion anticipated in September 2011

Innovative Approaches for Next Generation Vehicle Positioning – The initial phase will assess the viability, benefits, limitations, and obstacles for different approaches based on technological, business, and deployment characteristics. In particular, the research will focus the phase I research on how public and cooperative vehicle infrastructure can serve as additional augmentation mechanisms to improve vehicle positioning. A second phase will include the testing of several of the viable approaches.

University of California, Riverside

Underway with completion anticipated in September 2012

Driver Behavior in Traffic – The approach addresses three interrelated and critical threads: (1) naturalistic data processing and extraction of critical traffic flow and driving tasks parameters; (2) development and implementation of artificial-intelligence-based driver class agents that encapsulate individual driver’s decisions; and (3) testing and evaluation of the developed agents in an internationally acclaimed simulation platform. Fact sheet here

Virginia Tech with PTV America and Virginia Transportation Research Center

Underway with completion anticipated in August 2011

Feasibility for a New Concept of Integrated Active Transportation Systems - The integrated Active Transportation System (IATS) is envisioned as a system wherin all vehicles in all modes of transport are seemlessly interrelated, sharing information and actively adapting to both the current local situations, and to the larger system state, and the overall system objectives. In the IATS, collisions would be infrequent, if not impossible, in the same way that people can move effortlessly in many directions through large crowds without collisions and with optimal throughput.

University of California, Berkeley

Underway with completion anticipated in September 2012

Advanced Traffic Signal Control Algorithms - The research could lead to major improvements in the operational efficiency of arterial traffic signal systems.  The research would include data from real world probe vehicles and the development of algorithms in a simulated environment that would allow for multiple experiments and trade-offs.  The simulation would include emissions as well as operational benefits.

Regents of the University of California, Institute of Transportation Studies, California PATH Program

Underway with completion anticipated in February 2013

Development of Enhanced Safety Systems Based on GPS/INU System - This project will test emerging navigation technologies in a simulation environment that could lead to better assessment of future navigation technology and improved methods for roadway design

Ohio State University

Underway with completion anticipated in June 2012

Agent-Based Approach for Integrated Driver and Traveler Behavior Modeling - The project will: Develop a theoretical framework for agent-based driver and traveler behavior modeling; evaluate traditional and emerging data collection methods for agent-based modeling and simulation (ABMS) in transportation; evaluate alternative implementation platforms for ABMS applications in transportation; and  develop an agent-based model of en-route/pre-trip route, departure time, and mode choices toward the integration of travel demand, dynamic network, and traffic simulation models; and apply the model to transportation systems management and capital investment applications.

University of Maryland

Underway with anticipated completion in June 2014


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