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The National Academies

NCHRP 03-140 [Pending]

Guidelines for Applications of RFID and Wireless Technologies in Highway Construction and Asset Management

  Project Data
Funds: $370,000
Contract Time: 30 months
Staff Responsibility: Dr. Waseem Dekelbab
Comments: Proposals have been received in response to the RFP. The panel will meet to select a contractor to perform the work.

BACKGROUND

Advancement in sensing and transmitting technologies such as radio-frequency identification (RFID), barcodes, e-ticketing, global positioning systems, and other associated technologies has significantly improved wireless transmission. Projects where such devices were used reported beneficial outcomes through improved resource and quality management. The wireless transmission technology enables sensing, counting, measuring, documenting, identifying, locating, tracking, and transmitting information in real time. These features can significantly improve construction project and infrastructure asset management. However, the beneficial outcomes have not attracted the highway construction industry to adopt it to its fullest potential

There are significant gaps between the capability of existing wireless transmission technologies and their implementation. Therefore, there is a need to provide guidelines for state departments of transportation (DOTs) to select the appropriate technology for a specific application for highway construction and infrastructure asset management

OBJECTIVES

The objectives of this research are to (1) develop guidelines for the applications of RFID and wireless technologies for highway construction and infrastructure asset management and (2) plan and conduct a workshop to introduce the proposed guidelines to an audience of DOT staff and other stakeholders. At the minimum, the research shall include readiness assessment of RFID and wireless technologies for different applications and implementation requirements.

Accomplishment of the project objectives will require at least the following tasks.

TASKS

Task descriptions are intended to provide a framework for conducting the research. The NCHRP is seeking the insights of proposers on how best to achieve the research objectives. Proposers are expected to describe research plans that can realistically be accomplished within the constraints of available funds and contract time. Proposals must present the proposers' current thinking in sufficient detail to demonstrate their understanding of the issues and the soundness of their approach to meeting the research objectives.

PHASE I—Planning

Task 1. Conduct a literature review of relevant research and current state of practice related to RFID and wireless technologies for highway construction and infrastructure asset management. The review shall include published and unpublished research conducted through the NCHRP; FHWA; and other national, international, state, and pooled-fund sponsored research.

Task 2. Conduct a survey of DOTs to identify RFID and wireless technologies currently used for highway construction and infrastructure asset management. Collect data needed to achieve the research objective with consideration of the maturity of applications of RFID and wireless technologies. The survey shall be reviewed and approved by NCHRP before distribution.

Task 3. Synthesize the results of Tasks 1 and 2 to identify the knowledge gaps for the applications of RFID and wireless technologies. These gaps should be addressed in this research or in the recommended future research as budget permits.

Task 4. Propose a methodology for readiness assessment of RFID and wireless technologies for highway construction and infrastructure asset management to be fully developed in Phase II.

At a minimum, the methodology shall address the following:  
  • Identify potential applications of RFID and wireless technologies (e.g., material tracking, construction managements, asset inventory tags, quality monitoring, and work zone safety);
  • Identify the advantages and disadvantages of RFID and wireless technologies for each application;
  • Evaluate the readiness of the identified technologies to be implemented by DOTs; and
  • Identify the requirements for implementing the technologies including IT infrastructure and security, organization structure and workflow, and training. 

Task 5. Propose a preliminary outline for the guidelines based on the proposed methodology.

Task 6. Prepare Interim Report No. 1 that documents Tasks 1 through 5 and provides an updated work plan for the remainder of the research. This report must be submitted to NCHRP no later than 4 months after contract execution. The updated work plan must describe the process and rationale for the work proposed for Phases II though IV.

Note: Following a 1-month review of Interim Report No. 1 by the NCHRP, the research team will be required to meet in person with the NCHRP project panel to discuss the interim report. Work on Phases II though IV of the project will not begin until authorized by the NCHRP. Phase I shall be limited to $40,000.

PHASE II—Methodology Development

Task 7. Develop the methodology according to the approved Interim Report No.1.

Task 8. Develop examples to demonstrate the developed methodology. The selection of the examples should include at a minimum the identified technologies and applications in Phase I.

Task 9. Provide a detailed description of every chapter and section of the proposed guidelines and complete a sample chapter of the proposed guidelines selected by NCHRP. This chapter should be publication-ready.

Task 10. Prepare Interim Report No. 2 that documents the results of Tasks 7 through 9 and provides an updated work plan for the remainder of the project. This report is due no later than 8 months after approval of Phase I. The updated plan must describe the work proposed for Phases III and IV.

Note: Following a 1-month review of Interim Report No. 2 by the NCHRP, the research team will be required to meet in person with the NCHRP project panel to discuss the interim report, if necessary. Work on Phases III and IV of the project will not begin until authorized by the NCHRP. Phase II shall be limited to $100,000.

PHASE III—Guidelines Development

Task 11. Develop the guidelines according to the approved Interim Report No. 2.

Task 12. After NCHRP approval of the draft guidelines, plan and conduct workshop with 20 representatives of owners and other stakeholders to review the draft guidelines and implementation plan. Revise the draft guidebook according to the outcomes of the workshop. The invited representatives shall be approved by NCHRP.

Note: The costs for the workshop, including invitational travel for 20 attendees, should be included in the detailed budget for the research. For the purpose of estimating these costs, assume that the workshop will be held at the Beckman Center in Irvine, CA. NCHRP will cover costs associated with hosting the workshop at the Beckman Center as well as NCHRP panel member travel.

Task 13. Prepare Interim Report No. 3 that documents the results of Tasks 11 and 12 no later than 9 months after approval of Phase II. The updated work plan must describe the work proposed for Phase IV.

Note: Following a 1-month review of Interim Report No. 3 by the NCHRP, the research team will be required to meet in person with the NCHRP project panel to discuss the interim report, if necessary. Work on Phase IV of the project will not begin until authorized by the NCHRP. Phase III shall be limited to $180,000.

PHASE IV—Final Products

Task 14. Revise the draft guidelines considering the NCHRP’s review comments.

Task 15. Prepare final deliverables including: (1) the guidelines for the applications of RFID and wireless technologies for highway construction and infrastructure asset management, (2) a final report that documents the entire research effort, and (3) a stand-alone technical memorandum titled “Implementation of Research Findings and Products.” See Special Note D for additional information.

Note: Following receipt of the draft final report, the remaining 3 months shall be for NCHRP review and comment and for research agency preparation of the revised final report. Phase IV shall be limited to $50,000.

STATUS: Proposals have been received in response to the RFP. The panel will meet to select a contractor to perform the work.

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