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FHWA Home / Policy & Governmental Affairs / FHWA Strategic Plan - FY 2019-2022

FHWA FY 2019-2022 Strategic Plan


Goal: Lead in the development and deployment of innovative practices and technologies to improve the safety and performance of the Nation’s transportation system.
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Moving innovations from research into adoption and deployment continually advances the state of practice. Looking for more efficient and effective ways to meet the needs of the transportation system will continue. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) seeks to feed the innovation pipeline through strategic investments in research and accelerating the speed at which innovations are integrated into how State Departments of Transportation (DOTs) and Local Public Agencies (LPAs) build, maintain, and operate their systems. Accelerated development and deployment of proven, market-ready technologies and practices will help to improve safety, accelerate project delivery, improve infrastructure durability and resiliency, and increase mobility.

Success depends on the participation of employees in FHWA offices at every level in support of State and local transportation agencies, Tribes, Federal land management agencies, private industry, and other organizations adopting innovative practices, tools, and technologies. FHWA will continue to support Small Business Innovation Research to encourage small U.S. businesses to engage in research and development addressing high-priority research areas within the U.S. Departmetn of Transportation (USDOT). The Agency will also engage experts to identify potential research topics that may address current and emerging needs of the highway transportation industry through the Exploratory Advanced Research Program.

The USDOT is taking active steps to accelerate and shape the widespread adoption of Automated Driving Systems (ADS) to help realize its safety, mobility, and economic benefits. This includes developing strategies and modernizing transportation policies and regulations to address existing barriers to innovation and progress in light of these rapidly evolving technologies. As a key contributor to this effort, FHWA will undertake targeted research to advance the state of knowledge on key topics, such as the safety, mobility, and economic benefits of automation; the impacts of automation on infrastructure, commercial drivers, and other road users; the cybersecurity of those systems; and better access for people with disabilities, public safety, and first responders. In addition, FHWA can improve the understanding of long-term trends through research projects, such as a recent scenario-based planning exercise involving the development of descriptive scenarios of future ADS deployment, adoption, use, and likely impacts.

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Building on recent program successes, including EDC and the Second Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP2), FHWA will continue to identify and aggressively deploy new and improved technologies and practices by working through the STICs, the Build America Bureau, and other partners.
Strategic Objective #4: Enhance the safety and performance of the Nation’s transportation system through research and by accelerating development and deployment of promising innovative technologies and practices.

Key Programs and Initiatives

  • Continue research on automated vehicles to understand the implications, challenges, and impacts to roadway infrastructure and operations that are needed to facilitate ADS integration into transportation systems that enhance safety and user mobility.
  • Feed the innovation pipeline through research focused on improving the safety, structural integrity, longevity, resilience, construction, and management of highway infrastructure.
  • Continue to promote¬†Every Day Counts (EDC), a State-based model that identifies and rapidly deploys proven, underutilized innovations to shorten the project delivery process, enhance roadway safety, and reduce traffic congestion. Proven innovations promoted through EDC facilitate greater efficiency at the State and local levels, saving time, money, and resources that can be used to deliver more projects.
  • Support State Transportation Innovation Councils (STICs), a forum intended to bring together public and private transportation stakeholders to evaluate innovations and spearhead their deployment in each State. The STIC or an equivalent group puts the highway community in the driver's seat to comprehensively and strategically consider sources of innovation, select those innovations that best fit its unique program needs, and then quickly put those innovations into practice.
  • Ensure the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) is relevant to the needs of today's users (i.e., human and automated driving systems) as well as for the emerging innovations of tomorrow.
  • Promote the Accelerated Market Readiness (AMR) program to support emerging, transformative innovations that are not yet market ready by providing resources for rapid assessment and development of objective-written findings.
  • Implement the Accelerated Innovation Deployment (AID) program, which provides funding as an incentive for eligible entities to accelerate the implementation and adoption of innovation in highway transportation and offset the risk of testing an innovation.

Lead Officials: Chief Innovation Officer, Associate Administrators (AAs) for Operations, Research, Development, and Technology, and Policy and Governmental Affairs, and Chief Technical Services Officer.

Performance Measures: FHWA will support reporting on measures for the USDOT strategic goal and objective currently under development.

Leading measures or indicators include:

  • Percentage of State and Federal Transportation Innovation Councils (STIC/FTIC) that have a Functioning-to-Sustained maturity level for a formal innovation process and a communication plan;
  • Number of States and local agencies that have used a Federal innovative finance tool in the current year; and
  • Percentage of EDC innovations that met their goal in the 2-year cycle.
Page last modified on October 15, 2018
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