The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has championed innovations—new and better ways of getting highways planned, designed, built, and maintained throughout its history. In April 2012, the FHWA established the Center for Accelerating Innovation (CAI) to serve as the focal point for coordination of internal and external efforts to identify and prioritize innovations by developing, launching, and administering strategic innovation deployment programs such as Every Day Counts (EDC). In addition, the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act (Pub. L. No. 114-94) requires FHWA to continue EDC and work with stakeholders to identify a new collection of target innovations, best practices, and data at least every two years.
The CAI is one of four centers within the FHWA Office of Innovative Program Delivery (OIPD) working to advance innovation in the transportation community. In the administration of cross-cutting programs, the CAI is responsible for developing a national network for innovation deployment and for stakeholder collaboration within the highway transportation community, most notably through the State Transportation Innovation Council (STIC) network. The CAI works with FHWA Division Office EDC Coordinators and Innovation Deployment Teams to compile information on the state-of-the-practice, as well as the innovation implementation goals, of States and other partners. The CAI website provides access to a variety of resources including information on innovations, technical assistance, and funding opportunities.
Technology and Innovation Deployment Program (TIDP)
The TIDP enables filling the critical need to turn research products into proven technologies and demonstrated practices, identify the market forces that will influence successful technology and innovation deployment, and plan and deliver effective communication to promote rapid adoption of proven, market-ready technologies and innovations. Through the FAST Act, the innovation deployment programs administered by the CAI continue to be funded under the TIDP.
The TIDP relates to all aspects of highway transportation including planning, financing, operation, structures, materials, pavements, environment, and construction. After technologies have gone through testing and evaluation processes and are successfully deployed, the TIDP assists the accelerated implementation and adoption as standard practices by State DOTs and other stakeholders. The TIDP funding supports accelerated innovation deployment through final analysis, pilots, demonstrations, marketing, communications, and promotional activities. Under the multi-faceted TIDP approach, CAI administers the AID Demonstration program as an incentive for eligible entities to accelerate the implementation and adoption of proven innovation in highway transportation. The following are the TIDP goals as indicated in Section 1444 of the FAST Act and 503(c)(1) of 23 U.S.C.:
- Significantly accelerate the adoption of innovative technologies by the surface transportation community.
- Provide leadership and incentives to demonstrate and promote state-of-the-art technologies, elevated performance standards, and new business practices in highway construction processes that result in improved safety, faster construction, reduced congestion from construction, and improved quality and user satisfaction.
- Construct longer-lasting highways through the use of innovative technologies and practices that lead to faster construction of efficient and safe highways and bridges.
- Improve highway efficiency, safety, mobility, reliability, service life, environmental protection, and sustainability.
- Develop and deploy new tools, techniques, and practices to accelerate the adoption of innovation in all aspects of highway transportation.