U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
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Federal Highway Administration Research and Technology
Coordinating, Developing, and Delivering Highway Transportation Innovations
Research & Technology Transporter
This newsletter is an archived publication and may contain dated technical, contact, and link information.
|Publication Number: N/A Date: July 1999|
Publication Date: July 1999
|IDAS software can be used to calculate relative costs and benefits before potential ITS investments are implemented.|
FHWA's Office of Operations R&D has contracted with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory to create the Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) Deployment Analysis System (IDAS). This new software calculates the relative costs and benefits of potential ITS investments before they are implemented.
A prototype of IDAS is being rapidly created using metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) from Chicago, Miami, San Francisco, and Tucson as beta testers. In addition, a steering committee comprised of representatives from a dozen MPOs, the research community, and the U.S. DOT has been active in the development of IDAS since its inception. The software is currently in the prototype stage with final delivery scheduled for the end of the year.
Transportation planners, who evaluate alternative transportation improvement projects, are currently well equipped to assess the benefits of "traditional" transportation improvements (e.g., adding a lane of highway). However, when it comes to the deployment of relatively new ITS services, they need a tool to assist them in their analyses.
IDAS is being developed for use by regional transportation planning organizations, such as MPOs, to support their deployment of ITS services. IDAS is software that provides ITS sketch planning capability to calculate the relative costs and benefits of ITS investments. IDAS incorporates a cost module, a benefit module, and an internal travel demand model to generate cost/benefit comparisons for alternative ITS deployment scenarios. IDAS uses the output from an existing transportation planning model to establish a base case scenario on which the user can deploy ITS services on specific links in the regional transportation network model.
For additional information, please see the IDAS Web site at www-cta.ornl.gov/cta/research/idas/index.htm.
Gene McHale (202) 493-3275 firstname.lastname@example.org
As the European Union (EU) embarks on its Fifth Framework Program for Research, Technological Development, and Demonstration, it has decided for the first time to invite institutions from the United States to participate as research partners. By participating with the EU on projects in which both Europe and the United States are interested, both parties can benefit by combining resources for research and avoiding duplicative research.
In early May, Mr. Ivar Schacke, Executive Committee Chairman for the Forum of European National Highway Research Laboratories (FEHRL), met with FHWA and private sector representatives to outline the areas of potential cooperation. European-U.S. collaboration on research has some precedence, particularly under the SHRP program. Under the Fifth Framework Program, U.S. public or private research organizations can participate as self-funded partners in European-lead consortia. The consortia bid for the right to perform research as outlined in EU calls for proposals. Calls for particular research tasks are announced periodically. The December 1999 call will cover many highway-related tasks. The Fifth Framework Program and its procedures are described in the EU's Community Research and Development Information Service (CORDIS) Web site: www.cordis.lu.
During the May meetings, several research areas were defined by the U.S. and European parties as potential areas of collaboration. On the U.S. side, FHWA suggested a number of U.S. research areas where European input would be welcome, including crash test procedures for roadside equipment, interactive geometric safety design software, nondestructive testing, safety and human factors aspects of in-vehicle information systems, ITS computer models and simulations of bicyclists and pedestrians in traffic, and sensor technologies. Mr. Schacke agreed to explore these topics with his FEHRL colleagues.
On the European side, Mr. Schacke identified upcoming FEHRL research initiatives where U.S. input is invited, including maintenance techniques for new pavement types, optimization of maintenance techniques, road-vehicle interaction, innovative maintenance, and maintenance to reduce road closures. FEHRL expects to identify further initiatives, including safety topics, for possible collaboration in the near future.
Donald Symmes (202) 366-9627 email@example.com
|More than 300 transportation professionals at the conference viewed FHWA's video presenting methods and practices on the most effective ways to publicize transportation messages.|
A dynamic video is now available from the Research and Technology Service Group that presents methods and practices on the most effective ways to publicize your transportation message.
This video was shown at the opening session of the FHWA co-sponsored symposium on, "Getting Our Message Out: Elevating Public Awareness of Transportation Issues." More than 300 transportation professionals met in Alexandria, VA, on December 3 and 4, 1998, to attend the symposium. The emphasis throughout the event was on finding ways to be more proactive in communicating with the public, rather than just responding when transportation is interrupted by construction projects, accidents, or natural disasters.
To obtain your free copy of this video, contact the FHWA Research and Technology Report Center at (301) 577-0906. Copies are limited and will be available on a first come, first served basis.
National Transportation Week (NTW) was celebrated nationwide from May 16 through 22 by holding events and displaying exhibits. The main objectives of the events, according to NTW's Honorary Chair David L. Winstead, were to "provide information so the public can make informed decisions on transportation issues, and encourage careers in transportation - especially for youth."
In honor of NTW, Secretary Slater hosted a Leadership Roundtable at Cleveland State University. The central topic of the roundtable discussions was ensuring a skilled transportation workforce for the next millennium. Participants from several transportation-related industries told the Secretary that they were having difficulty recruiting qualified new employees for both professional and blue-collar jobs. "If we enter the 21st century with a 20th century work force, we cannot sustain the economic prosperity we now enjoy," the Secretary reiterated. He noted that the goal of the DOT's Garrett A. Morgan Technology and Transportation Futures Program is to touch a million students that will be part of the work force of the 21st century.
MilaPlosky (703) 235-0527 firstname.lastname@example.org
|NHI master trainer IIse van Goth (right corner) observes safety engineer William Fitzgerald (Eastern Resource Center) as he prepares to become a certified instructor.|
The National Highway Institute's Instructor Certification program, which started last fall, has won widespread praise and support from participating instructors. Over 20 instructors have already been certified and a dozen more are scheduled to be observed for certification by NHI's "master trainers" in the next few months.
"I started sort of skeptical about anything that has something to do with the development and presentation of course material," said one of the newly-certified instructors, Steve Lockwood from P. B. Farradyne. "The NHI staff showed me that there is much to be gained in combining technical presentation with hands-on adult learning methods."
The main goal of the program is to ensure consistent instructional quality and to encourage the instructors to use "learner-centered" training methods particularly suitable for adult learners. As NHI's Instructor Certification Program Manager Ilse van Goth explained, "Adult learners prefer learningexperiences that match real-world conditions. They learn faster when they can utilize what they already know."
To be certified, each instructor is observed during a classroom presentation by a master trainer who evaluates his or her ability to use such interactive methods as group discussion, problem solving, and team exercises. The required competencies are selected from a national set of competencies prepared by the American Society of Training and Development. If the instructor demonstrates these skills, he or she will be certified. If there are improvement opportunities, the master trainer will discuss those with the instructor, and together they will work out a development plan. When the instructor is ready to be observed again, he or she will notify NHI, and the process continues.
NHI expects all its instructors to be certified within three years. To reach this goal, NHI is organizing special Instructor Development Courses and offering instructors an extensive list of books, videotapes, and other materials that can be helpful in mastering the required skills.
"In FHWA, we are fortunate to have a wonderfully talented cadre of specialists and technical experts who are willing to teach," says Joseph S. Toole, director of FHWA's Office of Professional Development (OPD), of which NHI is an integral part. "The certification program is not only a means to recognize these employees, but also a chance for them to refine those teaching skills and improve them."
For more information, please contact Ilse van Goth (email@example.com) at (703) 235-0529
Susanne Hughs (703) 235-0540 firstname.lastname@example.org
|The IHSDM "microsite" is the largest and most comprehensive collection of information on highway safety design models.|
A new source for information about FHWA's Interactive Highway Safety Design Model (IHSDM) has made its way on to the Web site maintained by FHWA's Office of Research, Development, and Technology. Developed by the Office of Safety R&D, the IHSDM "microsite" is the largest and most comprehensive collection of information on highway safety design models.
The site includes current and thurough descriptions of IHSDM and each of its seven modules. Users can order an IHSDM "Preview" CD-ROM from the site, and view a well-organized library that provides links to related research and published articles.
IHSDM will mark a major breakthrough in safe road design by offering highway planners and designers a never-before-available suite of software tools with which to evaluate the safety impacts of design decisions. To find out more, visit www.fhwa.dot.gov/research/tfhrc/projects/safety/comprehensive/ihsdm/index.cfm.
Ray Krammes (202) 493-3312 email@example.com
FHWA's Universities and Grants Programs (U&GP) recently convened panels for the1999 Dwight David Eisenhower Transportation Fellowship Program. These panels review and rank applicants for eventual selection for the following nationally competed awards: the Grants for Research Fellowships (GRF), Graduate Fellowships, and Faculty Fellowships.
Six GRF applications were reviewed in April, five were recommended for projects. The Graduate Fellowships review panel met in April and ranked 62 applicants based on academic achievements, recommendations, and plans for careers in transportation. The first of two Faculty Fellowship panels met in May. The panel reviewed two applications for the April through October award period. The Eisenhower panels were convened locally at 32 participating Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic Serving Institutions, and Tribal Colleges and forwarded 64 nominations to U&GP for final selection.
In addition to managing the Eisenhower Fellowship Program, U&GP also provides technical assistance to other transportation education activities including: the National Summer Transportation Institute, Summer Transportation Internship Program for Diverse Groups, University Transportation Centers Program, and Garrett A. Morgan Transportation and Technology Futures Program. To check out U&GP, log on to the NHI web site - www.nhi.fhwa.dot.gov - and click on Fellowships and Grants.
Ilene Payne (703) 253-053 firstname.lastname@example.org
|A new motor carrier plan emphasizes stronger enforcement, tougher penalties, new regulations, advanced technology, and education and research.|
U.S. Secretary of Transportation Rodney E. Slater and Federal Highway Administrator Kenneth Wykle announced a safety action plan that combines stronger enforcement, tougher penalties, new regulations, advanced technology, and education and research to reduce the number of deaths on the Nation's highways associated with commercial vehicles.
Slater and Wykle also announced a long-range goal of reducing these fatalities by 50 percent over 10 years through a comprehensive effort involving these and other measures to be developed by governmental, safety and industry authorities.
Key components of an immediate safety action plan include:
Slater also announced that the Administration has amended its FY 2000 budget request, asking Congress to provide an additional $55.8 million to mount the effort.
Virginia Miller (202) 366-0660 email@example.com
|The LTPP Year in Review is available. Please call (202) 493-3142 to order a copy.|
To keep its partners apprized of the program's successes and challenges in 1998, the Long Term Pavement Performance (LTPP) program recently published LTPP 1998 Year in Review. Nineteen ninety-eight proved to be both a productive and challenging year for LTPP. LTPP introduced several new products, initiated the next phase of its Data Resolution effort, and completed several data analysis projects.
The new 12-page document provides an overview of the program's 1998 accomplishments along with key initiatives the program will be pursuing in 1999. It also features an LTPP Milestone Chart that graphically depicts the program's history since its inception in the 1980s. For a copy, contact the following.
Charles Churilla (202) 493-3142 firstname.lastname@example.org