The National Academies

TFPE 02 [Final]

Evaluation of the Exploratory Advanced Research (EAR) Program (TFPE-02)
[ TFPE 00 (Evaluations of FHWA Research & Technology Program Projects ) ]

  Project Data
Funds: $365,488
Research Agency: RTI International
Principal Investigator: Michael Gallaher
Effective Date: 1/29/2020
Completion Date: 1/6/2022

STATUS: Research is complete. Final report available at: https://www.trb.org/Main/Blurbs/182762.aspx


The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Research and Technology (R&T) Evaluation Program seeks to assess and communicate the benefits of FHWA’s R&T efforts; ensure that the organization is expending public resources efficiently and effectively; and build evidence to shape and improve policymaking. Beginning in 2019, FHWA requested that the Transportation Research Board be directly involved in managing evaluations of selected projects.

This project evaluated FHWA’s Exploratory Advanced Research (EAR) Program. The EAR was initiated in 2007; from fiscal years 2007 through 2020, the total investment in the program amounts to just over $65 million. EAR projects are solicited with a call for proposals from research organizations across a range of topics relevant to FHWA’s mission including human-automation interaction, safety improvements through advanced data analysis, innovative materials for highway pavements and structures, methods to improve transportation system resilience, and technologies for alternative fuels development. Selected projects for the EAR Program are in early stages of development, but each project must include a plan to identify and contact organizations that can support or conduct follow-on research to more fully develop the innovation with an eye to eventual implementation.

For project TFPE-02 “Evaluation of the Exploratory Advanced Research (EAR) Program”, RTI International was tasked to evaluate EAR program processes, the short-and long-term outputs, and the overall role of the EAR program in the transportation R&T ecosystem. Potential future activities for the EAR Program are also identified. A set of case studies provide more detailed assessments of EAR Program projects in three topic areas: cementitious materials, truck platooning, and video analytics.   

To create a link to this page, use this URL: http://apps.trb.org/cmsfeed/TRBNetProjectDisplay.asp?ProjectID=4862