Saxton Transportation Operations Laboratory
Transforming transportation systems through research and new technologies.
The Saxon Transportation Operations Laboratory (STOL) serves as a confluence of transportation research, development, testing, and deployment. Housed within the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center (TFHRC) in McLean, Virginia, the STOL enables the FHWA to conceptualize, validate, and refine innovative transportation services and technologies prior to larger scale development and implementation. The STOL is shaping the future of transportation systems management and operations (TSMO) by developing intelligent transportation solutions and advancing industry adoption.
The STOL is surrounded by extensive connected road, traffic signal, and mobile sensing networks that enable a broad range of research needs, including testing of connected automation applications. A fleet of vehicles for cooperative driving automation (CDA) research and development (R&D) is housed within the facility’s vehicle preparation garage, and connected laboratories onsite host state-of-the-art simulation and analysis tools. Backed by a network of physical prototypes, test beds, and advanced simulation tools, the STOL enables the convergence of Federal staff, transportation researchers, academics, and industry collaborating on cutting-edge transportation research.
STOL activities support three key research focus areas, enhance the expertise of the staff at the TFHRC, and contribute to the Data Resources Testbed (DRT).
Cooperative Driving Automation (CDA)
CDA enables automated vehicles (AVs) to cooperate through communication between vehicles, infrastructure, pedestrians, cyclists, and other road users. The STOL is spearheading the R&D of CDA features, which, once deployed, have the potential to advance transportation safety, mobility, and efficiency.
Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Technologies
ITS technologies are targeted to infrastructure and vehicles, as well as integrated applications between the two, to support the development of intelligent transportation systems. STOL research optimizes existing and develops innovative ITS technologies for deployment to power improvements in transportation safety, mobility, and reliability.
Data Resources Testbed (DRT)
The DRT provides access to data collected from the FHWA’s transportation operations research projects that are not directly accessible to the public through the ITS Public Data Hub or through other data portals supported by the United States Department of Transportation.
The STOL also supports the workforce development and technology transfer of pioneering transportation service concepts and technologies through knowledgeable onsite staff operating support services programs, physical prototype systems, and advanced simulation capabilities.
Multimodal efforts of the USDOT generate groundbreaking research and pilot technologies through collaboration, research, and testing. Through this critical work, the STOL aims to enhance the Nation’s transportation system’s efficiency, safety, capacity, and reliability.
Learn more about STOL research in the FHWA Research Projects Search.
- The Spring 2021 issue of Public Roads describes how the FHWA's CARMA℠ Program is testing how CDA can manage work zone congestion and enhance safety.
- The Summer 2020 issue of Public Roads offers a glimpse into how FHWA-created CARMA℠ software is supporting research on automated port and freight operations.
- The November/December 2019 edition of FHWA R&T Now features CDA research at Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center.
- The Spring 2019 edition of FHWA R&T Now describes how STOL research supports USDOT efforts to demonstrate interoperability among connected vehicle technologies in preparation for national deployment.
- The Winter 2020 issue of Public Roads covers how the FHWA's cooperative driving automation program is transforming transportation.
- FHWA awards $8 million to 10 states for innovative highway projects.