Improving the safety and performance of the Nation's transportation network requires using the latest research advances. To ensure that State and local agencies and private industries are aware of the most current technologies, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) recently updated its list of priority, market-ready technologies and innovations (T&Is) for which it is actively encouraging deployment.
According to FHWA Acting Administrator J. Richard Capka, "This list represents the select few ready-to-use products or processes that are likely to yield significant economic or qualitative benefits for State and local agencies and their industry partners to improve the Nation's transportation system."
To help T&I information reach the transportation community, FHWA developed a series of one-page fact sheets on each of the 24 selected products. Introduced by FHWA at the 2006 Transportation Research Board 85th Annual Meeting in Washington, DC, the fact sheets provide general information about the T&Is, including a description of successful applications and a list of additional resources for more information.
In 2005, the FHWA Research & Technology Leadership Team committed to establishing deployment goals for the T&Is. Therefore, each fact sheet includes a deployment statement and goal, as well as information on the deployment status to date.
The 2006 list fulfills an FHWA commitment to identify technologies that are ready for immediate deployment. This commitment was established in the FHWA Corporate Master Plan for Research and Deployment of Technology & Innovation (FHWA-RD-03-077). Six of the selected T&Is also have been approved and are being championed by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials' Technology Implementation Group. The six T&Is include the air void analyzer, fiber reinforced polymers, prefabricated bridge elements and systems, cable median barriers, road safety audits and accelerated construction technology transfer.
In addition to the six T&Is that have been approved, there are 24 priority market-ready technologies and innovations that the FHWA is currently distributing to its technology deployment partners. Some of these T&Is include:
511 Traveler Information – This easy-to-remember, three-digit telephone number is available to State and local transportation agencies nationwide so that agencies can readily provide information about highway and transit conditions to travelers by telephone.
DYNASMART-P – This traffic analysis tool can integrate travel demand models into the planning process. The tool can evaluate intelligent transportation system (ITS) technologies and provide traffic operations data for air quality analysis.
ITS Deployment Analysis System (IDAS) - This tool can predict the costs and benefits of ITS investments and provide data and information that enable agencies to analyze ITS operational improvements.
Maintenance Decision Support System (MDSS) - The MDSS tool uses weather forecasting and data fusion techniques to provide maintenance managers with precise surface condition forecasts and treatment recommendations, thereby reducing maintenance costs for winter operations.
PedSafe - This online, interactive system enables users to “diagnose” a pedestrian-related issue based on site characteristics and to formulate potential solutions that improve conditions for pedestrians with the public right-of-way.