The National Academies

NCHRP 20-123(12) [RFP]

System Mobility and Emerging Technologies (SMET): Strategic Planning Session and Research Roadmap Development
[ NCHRP 20-123 (Support for AASHTO Committees and Councils) ]

Posted Date: 10/14/2021

  Project Data
Funds: $225,000
Contract Time: 17 months
(includes 2 months for NCHRP review and approval of the interim report and 3 months for NCHRP review and for contractor revision of the final report)
Authorization to Begin Work: 4/1/2022 -- estimated
Staff Responsibility: Trey Joseph Wadsworth
   Phone: 202/334-2307
   Email: twadsworth@nas.edu
RFP Close Date: 11/30/2021
Fiscal Year: 2021

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) joint subcommittee on System Mobility and Emerging Technologies (SMET) was created in 2017 to formally merge the related work of the AASHTO Committee on Transportation System Operations (CTSO) and Committee on Performance-Based Management (CPBM). SMET also maintains a collaborative relationship with the AASHTO Committee on Data Management and Analytics (CDMA). SMET aims to fulfill the following:
  • Serve as a forum to share how state departments of transportation (DOTs) are managing system operation and surface transportation system mobility and how system performance is impacted due to current and emerging transportation technologies, operational strategies, and connected environments.
  • Explore surface transportation system and mobility-related performance, data and analytical tools, performance communication, reporting approaches, research, and related private-sector partnerships.
  • Examine the impacts of current and emerging system management approaches such as connected and automated vehicle (CAV) technology, cooperative automated transportation (CAT), and mobility on demand (MOD) programs.
The objectives of this research are to (1) to develop a 10-year strategic plan with a 2-year action plan to guide SMET’s activities to enhance coordination with other AASHTO’s committees and partners (TRB, FHWA, ITS America, etc.); and (2) develop a research roadmap to continue to advance the state of practice in system mobility and emerging technologies. The research results are intended to guide future SMET activities and research in a coordinated fashion for SMET to support state DOTs and infrastructure owner and operators.
Accomplishment of the project objective(s) will require at least the following 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.
Task 1. Strategic Planning and Research Roadmap Scan
  1. Review the scope, existing activities, and resources of SMET.
  2. Review the strategic plans, research roadmaps, and near-term focus areas of relevant AASHTO committees to SMET.
  3. Identify and review other relevant strategic plans and research roadmaps to examine commonalities and possible gaps related to system mobility and emerging technologies. Other examples may include TRB committees, activities associated with pooled fund studies, research in progress, or National Association of City Transportation Officials' Emerging Tech & Innovation 2020 work plan (summary found at: https://nacto.org/program/emerging-technology-and-innovation/).
Task 2. Develop Engagement Strategy
Propose an engagement strategy detailing the practitioner survey and workshops. The proposer should be creative in devising how to bring together stakeholders interested in strategic planning and the research roadmap, as each may have different audiences.
Task 3. Emerging Technology Identification
Identify existing and emerging technologies and applications on surface transportation networks that are likely to have a significant impact on system mobility within the next 10 years that should be considered in the strategic plan and research roadmap. The identification of existing and emerging technology should include an assessment of the impacts on system mobility (what kind of impact, magnitude, timeline, associated performance measures, etc.).
Note: Emerging technologies investigated for the development of the strategic plan and research roadmap should not be limited to connected and/or automated vehicles, however, focus on state-owned roadway surface transportation and infrastructure owner and operators is preferred.
Task 4. Interim Report
The Interim Report should distinctly reflect the two objectives of this project: (1) the development of a strategic plan, and (2) a research roadmap. For the strategic plan, consider findings from Tasks 1 and 2 to identify and summarize the opportunities and priorities for SMET to consider in a strategic plan. For the research roadmap, identify potential research ideas for SMET to pursue.
Task 5. First Stakeholder Engagement Activity
  1. Conduct a practitioner survey of SMET members (both AASHTO and TRB), FHWA, and the private sector that queries participants on the identified emerging technologies and important issues, concerns, and trends related to system mobility and performance.
  2. Hold a strategic planning and research roadmap virtual workshop with key subcommittee members (both AASHTO and TRB) and FHWA and other invited industry and subject matter experts. The workshop intends to refine the priorities that may be reflected in the strategic plan and the research ideas in the research roadmap.

Task 6. Draft Strategic Plan and Research Roadmap Development

In the development of the draft strategic plan and research road map, feedback from stakeholder engagement should be incorporated to refine strategic priorities and research ideas.

  1. Draft a strategic plan for SMET. The draft strategic plan should contain an action plan with a 10-year outlook that identifies specific, immediate (1-2 years) and near-term (2-5 years) work priorities, actions, and strategies within the overall outlook.
  2. Draft a research roadmap for SMET. The roadmap should expand the research ideas into problem statements. The problem statements should address research needs and gaps for SMET and use the current NCHRP problem statement template.

Task 7. Second Stakeholder Engagement Activity

Hold a virtual workshop with key subcommittee members (both AASHTO and TRB) and FHWA and other invited experts to gather feedback on the drafted strategic plan and research road map.


Task 8. Strategic Plan and Research Roadmap

  1. Finalize the strategic plan that should include an action plan with a 10-year outlook but identifies specific, immediate (1-2 years) and near-term (2-5 years) work priorities, actions, and strategies within the overall outlook that are based on the most pressing and relevant emerging technologies affecting system mobility and system performance. Tangible and pragmatic approaches leading to implementation should be a focus.
  2. Finalize the research roadmap. Problem statements should be updated and prioritized based on the second stakeholder engagement and those addressing immediate research gaps. Problem statements should be written in a format appropriate for submission to NCHRP or other appropriate research funding opportunities.

The final deliverables will include a strategic plan with an action plan and a research roadmap, a PowerPoint presentation that summarizes the research, and an implementation plan to disseminate the results of the research.


Note: Following receipt of the draft final deliverables, the remaining 3 months shall be for NCHRP review and comment and for research agency preparation of the final deliverables.




A. The Information and Instructions for Preparing Proposals for the Transportation Research Board’s Cooperative Research Programs were modified in November 2020 to include maximum file size and page limits for all CRP proposals. Proposals must be submitted as a single PDF file with a maximum file size of 10 MB. The PDF must be formatted for standard 8 ½” X 11” paper, and the entire proposal must not exceed 60 pages (according to the page count displayed in the PDF). Proposals that do not meet these requirements will be rejected.  For other requirements, refer to chapter V of the instructions.


B. Proposals should include a task-by-task breakdown of labor hours for each staff member as shown in Figure 4 in the brochure, "Information and Instructions for Preparing Proposals" (https://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/crp/docs/ProposalPrep.pdf). Proposals also should include a breakdown of all costs (e.g., wages, indirect costs, travel, materials, and total) for each task using Figures 5 and 6 in the brochure. Please note that TRB Cooperative Research Program subawards (selected proposers are considered subawards to the National Academy of Sciences, the parent organization of TRB) must comply with 2 CFR 200 – Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards. These requirements include a provision that proposers without a "federally" Negotiated Indirect Costs Rate Agreement (NICRA) shall be subject to a maximum allowable indirect rate of 10% of Modified Total Direct Costs. Modified Total Direct Costs include all salaries and wages, applicable fringe benefits, materials and supplies, services, travel, and up to the first $25,000 of each lower-tier subaward and subcontract. Modified Total Direct Costs exclude equipment, capital expenditures, charges for patient care, rental costs, tuition remission, scholarships and fellowships, participant support costs and the portion of each lower-tier subaward and subcontract in excess of $25,000. NCHRP wishes to award this contract for a fixed price of $225,000; this amount will not be subject to any adjustment by reason of the contractor's cost experience in the performance of the contract.


C. The NCHRP is a practical, applied research program that produces implementable products addressing problems faced by transportation practitioners and managers. The benefits of NCHRP research are realized only when the results are implemented in state DOTs and other agencies. Implementation of the research product must be considered throughout the process, from problem statement development to research contract and beyond completion of the research. Item 4(c), "Anticipated Research Results," must include the following: (a) the "product" expected from the research, (b) the audience or "market" for this product, (c) a realistic assessment of impediments to successful implementation, and (d) the institutions and individuals who might take leadership in deploying the research product. The project panel will develop and maintain an implementation plan throughout the life of the project. The research team will be expected to provide input to an implementation team consisting of panel members, AASHTO committee members, the NCHRP Implementation Coordinator, and others in order to meet the goals of NCHRP Active Implementation: Moving Research into Practice, available at https://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/nchrp/docs/NCHRP_ActiveImplementation.pdf.


D. Proposals are evaluated by the NCHRP staff and project panels consisting of individuals collectively very knowledgeable in the problem area. Selection of an agency is made by the project panel considering the following factors: (1) the proposer's demonstrated understanding of the problem; (2) the merit of the proposed research approach and experiment design; (3) the experience, qualifications, and objectivity of the research team in the same or closely related problem area; (4) the plan for ensuring application of results; (5) how the proposer approaches inclusion and diversity in the composition of their team and research approach, including participation by certified Disadvantaged Business Enterprises; and, if relevant, (6) the adequacy of the facilities.


Note: The proposer's approach to inclusion and diversity as well as participation by Disadvantaged Business Enterprises should be incorporated in Item 11 of the proposal.
E. Copyrights - All data, written materials, computer software, graphic and photographic images, and other information prepared under the contract and the copyrights therein shall be owned by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The contractor and subcontractors will be able to publish this material for non-commercial purposes, for internal use, or to further academic research or studies with permission from TRB Cooperative Research Programs. The contractor and subcontractors will not be allowed to sell the project material without prior approval by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. By signing a contract with the National Academy of Sciences, contractors accept legal responsibility for any copyright infringement that may exist in work done for TRB. Contractors are therefore responsible for obtaining all necessary permissions for use of copyrighted material in TRB's Cooperative Research Programs publications. For guidance on TRB's policies on using copyrighted material please consult Section 5.4, "Use of Copyrighted Material," in the Procedural Manual for Contractors.

Proposals should be uploaded via this link: https://www.dropbox.com/request/uVsg8cqDh9Epyr5zSEhV
Proposals are due not later than 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on 11/30/2021.

This is a firm deadline, and extensions are not granted. In order to be considered for award, the agency's proposal accompanied by the executed, unmodified Liability Statement must be in our offices not later than the deadline shown, or the proposal will be rejected.

Liability Statement

The signature of an authorized representative of the proposing agency is required on the unaltered statement in order for TRB to accept the agency's proposal for consideration. Proposals submitted without this executed and unaltered statement by the proposal deadline will be summarily rejected. An executed, unaltered statement indicates the agency's intent and ability to execute a contract that includes the provisions in the statement.

Here is a fillable PDF version of the Liability Statement. A free copy of the Adobe Acrobat PDF reader is available at https://www.adobe.com.

General Notes

1. According to the provisions of Title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 21, which relates to nondiscrimination in federally assisted programs, all parties are hereby notified that the contract entered into pursuant to this announcement will be awarded without discrimination on the grounds of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, or disability.

2. The essential features required in a proposal for research are detailed in the current brochure entitled "Information and Instructions for Preparing Proposals". Proposals must be prepared according to this document, and attention is directed specifically to Section V for mandatory requirements. Proposals that do not conform with these requirements will be rejected.

3. The total funds available are made known in the project statement, and line items of the budget are examined to determine the reasonableness of the allocation of funds to the various tasks. If the proposed total cost exceeds the funds available, the proposal is rejected.

4. All proposals become the property of the Transportation Research Board. Final disposition will be made according to the policies thereof, including the right to reject all proposals.

5. Potential proposers should understand that follow-on activities for this project may be carried out through either a contract amendment modifying the scope of work with additional time and funds, or through a new contract (via sole source, full, or restrictive competition).

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