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Public Roads - Winter 2019

Winter 2019
Issue No:
Vol. 82 No. 4
Publication Number:
Table of Contents

Communication Product Updates

Communication Product Updates

by Lisa A. Shuler of FHWA's Office of Corporate Research, Technology, and Innovation Management

Below are brief descriptions of communications products recently developed by the Federal Highway Administration’s Office of Research, Development, and Technology. All of the reports are or will soon be available from the National Technical Information Service (NTIS). In some cases, limited copies of the communications products are available from FHWA’s Research and Technology (R&T) Product Distribution Center (PDC).

When ordering from NTIS, include the NTIS publication number (PB number) and the publication title. You also may visit the NTIS Web site at to order publications online. Call NTIS for current prices. For customers outside the United States, Canada, and Mexico, the cost is usually double the listed price. Address requests to:

National Technical Information Service
5301 Shawnee Road
Alexandria, VA 22312
Telephone: 703–605–6050
Toll-free number: 1–888–584–8332
Web site:

Requests for items available from the R&T Product Distribution Center should be addressed to:

R&T Product Distribution Center
Szanca Solutions/FHWA PDC
700 North 3rd Avenue
Altoona, PA 16601
Telephone: 814–239–1160
Fax: 814–239–2156

For more information on R&T communications products available from FHWA, visit FHWA’s Web site at, the FHWA Research Library at (or email, or the National Transportation Library at (or email


Smart Vehicles, Smart Signals, Smart Cities (Fact Sheet)

Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-18-032


As the Nation’s urban population increases, so does the number of vehicles on city streets. The resulting congestion contributes to increased or unreliable travel times. For its 2016 Urban Congestion Trends report, FHWA calculated the average daily duration of congestion in 52 of the largest U.S. metropolitan areas at 4 hours and 43 minutes, up from 4 hours and 22 minutes 5 years earlier. However, the emergence of automated vehicles could help improve urban mobility if the vehicles can safely integrate into cyber-physical systems that also include technologically advanced traffic signals and road sensors.

In partnership with the National Science Foundation, FHWA’s Exploratory Advanced Research Program is supporting three research projects with applications of cyber-physical systems for highway transportation officials to understand how to scale public benefits of new technologies. All three projects demonstrate the potential of cyber-physical systems in transportation, which can improve mobility and economic strength throughout the Nation.

This fact sheet provides an overview of each of the three research projects. The document is available to download at


Properties and Behavior of UHPC-Class Materials (Report)

Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-18-036


The highway industry is adopting ultra-high performance concrete (UHPC) for a variety of bridge construction and rehabilitation applications. In North America, the most popular application of UHPC in bridge construction is for field-cast closure pours between adjacent prefabricated bridge elements, which are employed in many accelerated bridge construction projects. This application has proven to be a common entry point for many bridge owners.

As the demand for this innovative class of materials increases, so will the need for knowledge regarding the material properties and characteristics. To fill this knowledge gap, researchers at FHWA’s Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center executed an experimental study on six different commercially available materials being marketed as “UHPC class.”

The goal of the research was to provide the bridge engineering community with a more comprehensive set of properties for this class of materials, which can facilitate broader use within the sector. Researchers evaluated the UHPC-class materials using 14 different test methods developed by ASTM (formerly the American Society for Testing and Materials), the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, or FHWA.

Results indicate that these materials behave similarly with respect to some performance measures—such as compressive strength, tensile strength, and durability—but vary with respect to other measures, such as dimensional stability, bond to precast concrete, and compressive creep.

The document is available to download at


Driver Acceptance of Connected, Automation-Assisted Cruise Control––Experiment 1 (Report)

Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-18-041


This report documents the results and conclusions of an initial experiment that examined human factors issues in the use of adaptive cruise control (ACC) and a hypothetical cooperative ACC (CACC), which is an ACC system enhanced with vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications to share information on speed, brake position, and distance between vehicles. In this driving simulator-based experiment, researchers modeled the CACC system to accelerate and decelerate less aggressively when the ACC radar lost track of the vehicle on a curve.

The experiment tested three cruise-control displays. One display showed only whether cruise control was turned on or off. A second display showed not only whether the display was on or off, but also whether the system was tracking another vehicle. A third display showed which vehicle was being tracked.

The goals of this project were to improve the general understanding of the human factors issues related to vehicle automation, perform experiments to support research on level 1 vehicle automation, and publish information to support the development of standards and performance requirements for level 1 vehicle automation. Level 1 automation refers to partial automation of either steering or braking and acceleration where the driver is expected to monitor and intervene as needed.

The study concluded that supplementing ACC with V2V communications may increase the use of the technology and enhance the safety benefits provided by it. This research should be of interest to developers of level 1 automated systems and to safety professionals seeking to understand the benefits and opportunities of this technology to improve roadway safety.

The document is available to download at