National Academies Press: OpenBook
« Previous: FrontMatter
Page 7
Suggested Citation:"Preface." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. The Vital Federal Role in Meeting the Highway Innovation Imperative. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25511.
×
Page 7
Page 8
Suggested Citation:"Preface." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. The Vital Federal Role in Meeting the Highway Innovation Imperative. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25511.
×
Page 8
Page 9
Suggested Citation:"Preface." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. The Vital Federal Role in Meeting the Highway Innovation Imperative. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25511.
×
Page 9

Below is the uncorrected machine-read text of this chapter, intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text of each book. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

vi PREPUBLICATION COPY—Uncorrected Proofs Preface Congress has long recognized the importance of the highway system to the United States and the role of research, development, and technology transfer (RD&T) in improving the safety and performance of highways supported with federal aid. In the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991, Congress expanded the federal investment in highway RD&T. In 1992, then Federal Highway Administrator Thomas D. Larson requested the establishment of the Research and Technology Coordinating Committee (RTCC) to serve as an independent advisor to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and to ensure that the new federal RD&T initiatives would be coordinated with ongoing RD&T in the states and private industry. FHWA has retained the RTCC as an independent advisor ever since. COMMITTEE CHARGE The RTCC’s current charge is to review “the highway research, development, technology, and deployment efforts of the Federal Highway Administration. The review includes the whole process of research agenda setting, stakeholder involvement, conduct of research, peer review, deployment, and program and project evaluation.” (Box P-1 shows the committee’s full Statement of Task.) The committee monitors and reviews “FHWA’s research and technology programs and activities and advise[s] FHWA on (a) research agenda setting and coordination of highway research with states, universities, and other partners, (b) strategies to accelerate research and the deployment and adoption of innovation, and (c) potential areas where research is needed.” The members of the RTCC rotate on a regular basis. Members are drawn from the public and private sectors and academia. Current members have expertise in research, research management, and innovation; highway planning, operations, and engineering; local and regional transportation; pavements and structures; intelligent transportation systems; and freight logistics. Biographical information about the current individuals serving on the RTCC is available in Appendix A. BOX P-1 Research and Technology Coordinating Committee Statement of Task This project will conduct a review of the highway research, development, technology, and deployment (RD&T) efforts of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). The review will include the whole process of research agenda setting, stakeholder involvement, conduct of research, peer review, deployment, and program and project evaluation. The study committee will provide strategic, research-policy level advice on topical priorities, processes, and strategies to accelerate the adoption of innovation. The committee will monitor and review FHWA’s research and technology programs and activities and advise FHWA on (a) research agenda setting and coordination of highway research with states, universities, and other partners, (b) strategies to accelerate research and the deployment and adoption of innovation, and (c) potential areas where research is needed. The committee will hold at least two meetings per year, issue a letter report at least annually, or periodically issue more in-depth consensus reports as requested by FHWA. These reports will be subject to the report review procedures of the RRC.

vii PREPUBLICATION COPY—Uncorrected Proofs In addition to providing advice to FHWA, the committee will act as the advisory committee for the FHWA Research Support Program. This advisory activity will entail vetting of the program’s project selections and monitoring the progress of those projects. From time to time over the years, the RTCC has also issued reports to advise Congress on the state of highway research in the United States and opportunities to strengthen the federal investment. This is the fourth such report. For nearly three decades, the RTCC has observed and advised the FHWA RD&T program as it has grown and matured into a comprehensive set of activities designed to assist state and local agencies in the highway innovation process. The program has many strengths, as well as some opportunities for improvement, as described in the chapters that follow. The committee defined the scope of this report, consistent with its Statement of Task and with its past similar reports. The report examines the roles of FHWA and the Intelligent Transportation Systems Joint Program Office (ITS JPO) in fostering innovation in the U.S. highway sector. It assesses FHWA and ITS JPO RD&T programs according to three criteria that Congress expects such RD&T to meet: whether the programs  cover the full innovation cycle, including fundamental, long-term research, and process and outcome evaluation;  address gaps not being addressed by other programs; and  conduct research on nationally significant topics not otherwise being addressed. Federal law specifies additional criteria defining the federal responsibility for surface transportation RD&T. The committee limited its review of the RD&T program to consideration of the criteria it judged to be most relevant to congressional decisions about the scope, structure, and funding of the program in the future. The material for this report was developed through briefings and interactions with FHWA and other U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) staff at the RTCC’s regular semi-annual meetings; responses to questions posed to FHWA and USDOT staff on highway RD&T programs; through review of public reports and documents prepared for Congress by FHWA and other USDOT agencies; examination of documentation available in FHWA’s extensive RD&T website; and through analysis of USDOT and Transportation Research Board databases of ongoing highway research. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The committee appreciates the openness and responsiveness of FHWA and USDOT staff in responding to the committee’s requests and inquiries. This report would not have been possible without the interest and support of Hari Kalla, Associate Administrator for Research, Development and Technology, FHWA (through June 2019), and members of his staff: Shana Baker, Joe Conway, Brian Cronin, Jack Jernigan, John Moulden, Cheryl Richter, Mark Swanlund, and Craig Thor. The committee also appreciates the assistance of FHWA staff members Angela Fogle, Thomas Harmon, Dave Harris, Egan Smith, Neil Spiller, and David Winter, and University Transportation Centers Program staff member Amy Stearns for providing helpful information and reports.

viii PREPUBLICATION COPY—Uncorrected Proofs This Consensus Study Report was reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in making each published report as sound as possible and to ensure that it meets the institutional standards for quality, objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We thank the following individuals for their review of this report: Ray Chamberlain (NAE), Independent Consultant, Fort Collins, CO; Irwin Feller, The Pennsylvania State University (Emeritus), State College; Gretchen Jordan, University of Maryland, College Park; Sandra Larson, Stanley Consultants, Des Moines, IA; Michael Meyer, Consultant, Atlanta, GA; Larry Rilett, University of Nebraska–Lincoln; Robert Skinner, Transportation Research Board (Retired), Falls Church, VA; Bud Wright, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (Retired), Alexandria, VA. Although the reviewers listed above provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations of this report nor did they see the final draft before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Susan Hanson (NAS), Clark University (Emerita), Worcester, MA, and Sue McNeil, University of Delaware, Newark. They were responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with the standards of the National Academies and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content rests entirely with the authoring committee and the National Academies. This report was developed under the overall supervision of Thomas Menzies, Jr., Director of Consensus and Advisory Studies of the Transportation Research Board (TRB). Stephen Godwin, Scholar, TRB, drafted the report as directed by the RTCC. Joseph Morris, Senior Program Officer, TRB, drafted a major section of Chapter 3 and assisted in responding to the comments of peer reviewers. Karen Febey, Senior Report Review Officer, TRB, managed the report review process. Michael Covington, Senior Program Assistant, provided administrative and logistical support. Anusha Jayasinghe assisted in preparing the document for publication.

Next: Contents »
The Vital Federal Role in Meeting the Highway Innovation Imperative Get This Book
×
MyNAP members save 10% online.
Login or Register to save!
Download Free PDF

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.

  1. ×

    Welcome to OpenBook!

    You're looking at OpenBook, NAP.edu's online reading room since 1999. Based on feedback from you, our users, we've made some improvements that make it easier than ever to read thousands of publications on our website.

    Do you want to take a quick tour of the OpenBook's features?

    No Thanks Take a Tour »
  2. ×

    Show this book's table of contents, where you can jump to any chapter by name.

    « Back Next »
  3. ×

    ...or use these buttons to go back to the previous chapter or skip to the next one.

    « Back Next »
  4. ×

    Jump up to the previous page or down to the next one. Also, you can type in a page number and press Enter to go directly to that page in the book.

    « Back Next »
  5. ×

    To search the entire text of this book, type in your search term here and press Enter.

    « Back Next »
  6. ×

    Share a link to this book page on your preferred social network or via email.

    « Back Next »
  7. ×

    View our suggested citation for this chapter.

    « Back Next »
  8. ×

    Ready to take your reading offline? Click here to buy this book in print or download it as a free PDF, if available.

    « Back Next »
Stay Connected!