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The Vital Federal Role in Meeting the Highway Innovation Imperative

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TRB Special Report 331 concludes that with sustained and adequate funding and modest improvements in research, development, and technology (RD&T), the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Intelligent Transportation Systems Joint Program Office (ITS JPO) will continue to serve and advance the national interest and international competitiveness well into the future.

TRB’s Research and Technology Coordinating Committee, which produced the report, believes that rapidly advancing technology, new mobility services, increased urbanization, and the growing frequency of severe weather events are changing highway transportation in fundamental ways.

FHWA and ITS JPO RD&T programs, as required by Congress, are addressing a number of critical gaps not covered by other programs. And they are conducting nationally significant research, but there are compelling policy and operational issues that could justify even greater levels of RD&T investment by the two programs. Detailed future RT&D suggestions are outlined in this report, touching on a variety of issues that include autonomous-vehicle technology, energy and sustainability, growing and changing populations, resilience, goods movement, safety, and equity.


Suggested Citation

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. The Vital Federal Role in Meeting the Highway Innovation Imperative. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

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156 pages | 6 x 9

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