State departments of transportation (DOTs) have been effective in developing transportation procurement documents for highway construction. However, the procurement of new business operation technologies is less advanced. State DOTs are investing in enterprise network solutions to support agency operations (e.g., communications, asset management, and human resources management), while also seeking to leverage cutting-edge technologies to manage the transportation network. This may include artificial intelligence (AI)-based predictive analytics solutions and cloud-based big data analytics solutions. The diversity of procurements that agencies adopt and maintain and the expectations of its customers are changing. As complexity grows, state DOTs continue to use traditional procurement methods, which may entail making individual purchases without a long-term, big-picture view of the implications and objectives. This often leads to a number of procurement challenges for state DOTs, particularly when it comes to the provision of technological products and services.
The objectives of this research are to develop a guide that will enable state DOTs to identify (1) successful procurement practices used when procuring new transportation systems technologies that meet industry standards; (2) procurement processes flexible enough to be adapted as technology changes; and (3) a sustainable means for practitioners within state DOT Information Technology and Procurement offices to implement and evaluate procurement processes.
Accomplishment of the project objective(s) will require at least the following tasks.
At a minimum, the research plan shall include the following activities.
1. Conduct a literature review related to the procurement of advanced technologies.
2. Summarize the state of practice of the procurement of advanced technologies including successful models and challenges encountered by state transportation agencies while procuring new technology.
3. Prepare a practitioner’s guide that includes strategies for the procurement of new technologies. The deliverables will include a broad range of transportation technology assets, suitable for state transportation agencies, and include approaches that are flexible to aid in the integration and sustained operability and functionality of the new technologies.