The National Academies

NCHRP 23-41 [Pending]

Using Emerging and Established Technologies for Asset Management: A Guide

  Project Data
Funds: $500,000
Contract Time: 30 months
Staff Responsibility: Arefeh Nasri


The Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) and the Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act (Fast Act) jump-started many agencies’ efforts to attain an inventory and assess the condition of their infrastructure assets and transportation data to meet federal regulations. The benefits of asset management are well documented in publications such as the AASHTO Transportation Asset Management (TAM) Guide. In addition to meeting federal regulations, state and local transportation agencies have a responsibility to manage their assets in the most efficient way to maximize asset service life.

Emerging and current technologies, including field data collection tools and artificial intelligence, hold the promise of transforming data collection for transportation asset management (TAM). While these technologies have drastically improved the accessibility of, affordability of, and ability to collect high volumes of asset inventory data, it is still a challenge to turn data into actionable information that improves asset management life-cycle and decision-making processes.  

Research is needed to understand how to leverage emerging technologies to capture, process, and manage asset inventory and condition data.  


The objective of this research is to develop a guide to assist state departments of transportation in decision-making and implementation as they relate to emerging and established technologies used to capture and update changes to transportation assets.  

Accomplishment of the project objective will require at least the following tasks: 


PHASE I—Planning and Initial Outreach

Task 1.  Conduct a comprehensive review of the most relevant literature and related resources. The review shall include published and unpublished documentation and research conducted through the NCHRP; the Federal Highway Administration; and other national, state, and local agencies.  

Task 2.  Identify current state of practice, including the level of maturity or implementation in the use of emerging technologies related to (1) integrating and connecting TAM information systems; (2) asset data collection and processing; (3) asset data sharing, reporting, and visualization; and (4) data governance (e.g., data currency, retention, accuracy) and management. This could be performed through online surveys or interviews. Survey or interview questions shall be reviewed and approved by NCHRP before distribution. 

Task 3. Synthesize the results of Tasks 1 and 2 to identify knowledge and information gaps related to the research objective. These gaps should be addressed in the final products or the recommended future research, as the budget permits.

Task 4. Propose the research plan, to be executed in Phase II, to achieve the research objective. At a minimum, the research plan shall include

- Developing a guide that incorporates the following:

  • Pertinent asset classes and data elements (attributes) and related emerging data collection strategies and technologies (e.g., mobile data collection, mobile lidar, artificial intelligence, the internet of things, nanotechnology, microelectronics, sonar data, remote sensing and imaging, crowdsource data, embedded sensors, ground penetrating radar, and other data collection and processing and integrating technologies);
  • Recommendations for data collection, accuracy, reliability, and frequency;  
  • A list of use cases based on ways to optimize asset management practices;
  • Strategies for data accessibility, governance, and retention;  
  • A matrix method that aligns emerging and established technologies and asset classes to support asset data and interoperability;
  • Identification of additional opportunities to use collected data beyond asset management applications;
  • A decision-making framework to describe the level of complexity and support implementing advanced data collection strategies using emerging and established technologies; and
  • Discussion of changing workforce roles, responsibilities, and competencies for the above strategies.  

- Developing an actionable plan for obtaining practitioners’ feedback on the draft guide, particularly related to the matrix methods and the decision-making framework. This could include a workshop (in-person, virtual, or hybrid); and

- Developing a communication plan for outreach (e.g., presentations, graphics, and press releases). 

Task 5. Develop a draft outline of the guide.

Task 6. Prepare Interim Report No. 1, which documents Tasks 1 through 5 and provides an updated work plan for the remainder of the research no later than 6 months after the contract award. The updated plan must describe the process and rationale for the work proposed for Phases II through III. 

PHASE II—Execution 

Task 7. Execute the research plan according to the approved Interim Report No 1. 

Task 8. Develop the draft guide.

Task 9. Prepare Interim Report No. 2, which documents Tasks 7 and 8 and provides an updated work plan for the remainder of the research. The updated work plan must describe the process and rationale for the work proposed for Phase III.

PHASE III—Final Products

Task 10. Revise the guide after consideration of the panel’s review comments.

Task 11. Obtain practitioners’ feedback on the draft guide, particularly related to the matrix methods and the framework, and update the draft guide accordingly.  

Task 12. Submit the draft final deliverables, including (1) a final report that documents the entire research effort; (2) the guide; (3) outreach materials: presentations, graphics, and press releases; and (4) a stand-alone technical memorandum titled “Implementation of Research Findings and Products”.

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

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