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Exploratory Advanced Research Events

Upcoming Events


Past Events

6th Artificial Intelligence (AI) City Challenge

On June 20, 2022, at the 6th Artificial Intelligence (AI) City Challenge took place at the Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR) Conference, research supported by the EAR Program and was part of the Challenge Track 3,  “Naturalistic Driving Action Recognition.” The workshop track explored computer vision’s ability to detect and classify 18 different tasks (such as using a handheld phone or eating) that people may engage in while driving which distracts them from keeping their eyes and attention of the road. The ability to apply computer vision can increase researchers ability to review naturalistic driving studies, which can include hundreds, thousands, or hundreds of thousands of hours of video for understanding of why some people crash and others don’t. Computer vision also can lead to improved shared control between drivers and cooperative driving automation systems. More information is located at and

TRB Webinar on Advanced Structural Materials for Concrete Bridges

The Transportation Research Board's (TRB) Standing Committee on Concrete Bridges and Structural Fiber Reinforced Polymers organized a webinar to identify and compare several advanced performance structural materials that may be used on bridges. The webinar took place on December 3, 2019 from 1–2:30 p.m. Presentations included results from the Infravation Program for Sustainable Concrete Using Seawater, Salt-Contaminated Aggregates, and Non-Corrosive Reinforcement (SEACON) project. The Infravation Program is the first cooperative research initiative between the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and other national road administrations developed from the ground up, which allows United States entities such as academic institutions, State departments of transportation, and businesses to participate in the research and gain access to the research results. For more information, including a copy of the slides, click here.

EAR-Supported Project Presented at Behavioral Science and Health Symposium

Early results from the research project "Comparative Effectiveness of Alternative Smartphone-Based Nudges to Reduce Cellphone Use While Driving" were presented at the 2019 Behavioral Science and Health Symposium in Philadelphia, PA, November 21–22. The project—supported by FHWA's Exploratory Advanced Research (EAR) Program and conducted by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania and the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia—is examining how technology-based nudges and tiered incentives influence distracted driving behaviors. More information about the research project is available here. For more about the symposium, click here.

Road Safety and Simulation the Focus of October Conference

Researchers and professionals from various disciplines shared their expertise and insights in the field of road safety and simulation at the Road Safety and Simulation Conference, October 14–17, 2019, in Iowa City, IA. Hosted by the National Advanced Driving Simulator, a self-sustained transportation safety research center at the University of Iowa’s College of Engineering, the conference included keynote speakers, workshops, and technical tours featuring some of the most advanced simulators in the world. The EAR Program currently supports research at the University of Iowa that uses simulations to study interactions between drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists. For more information about the conference, click here.

Conference on Driver Assessment, Training, and Vehicle Design Held in New Mexico

The 10th International Driving Symposium on Human Factors in Driver Assessment, Training, and Vehicle Design took place June 24–27, 2019, at the Eldorado Hotel in Santa Fe, NM. Held every other year and organized by the Human Factors Research Program at the University of Iowa Public Policy Center, the conference includes researchers and practitioners working on driving assessment applications from the engineering, psychology, medicine, and public health perspectives. More information about the conference is available here.

Research into New Shipment Tracking Methods Presented at TRB Workshop

The Transportation Research Board's (TRB's) Innovations in Freight Data Workshop in Irvine, CA, April 8–10, 2019, included a poster presentation titled "Design and Pilot of a Shipment Tracking Method to Supplement a Commodity Survey." Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Singapore University of Technology and Design, and Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology, with support from FHWA, developed and tested a technology for shipment-level data collection and demonstrated its feasibility to supplement the conventional commodity flow survey for freight studies. The researchers developed the tracking method to capture shipment characteristics, global positioning system traces, and user-verified geolocation data with high resolution and minimal human input. For more information, visit the workshop website.

Computer Vision for Work Zone Detection Presented at IEEE

On December 19, 2018, Franklin Abodo, a computer scientist in the Safety Information Systems Division at Volpe National Transportation Systems Center, presented a paper describing how he and other researchers used software to extract video information from vehicles in the second Strategic Highway Research Program’s (SHRP2) Naturalistic Driving Study (NDS), integrated that information into the Roadway Information Database (RID), and tied the video content to geolocations and other trip attributes to detect work zones. FHWA's EAR Program supported the work of Abodo and his colleagues. The session “Using Deep Learning-Based Computer Vision to Detect Work Zones in SHRP2 NDS Video Data” took place in Orlando, FL as part of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) International Conference on Machine Learning and Applications 2018. For more information, visit the conference website.

Research on Self-Powered Bridge Monitoring Sensors Presented

On August 29, 2018, Nizar Lajnef, associate professor of engineering at Michigan State University, presented “Toward Autonomous Self-Powered Self-Sensing Civil Infrastructure” during the Nondestructive Evaluation/Nondestructive Testing (NDE/NDT) for Structural Materials Technology (SMT) for Highway and Bridges and International Symposium for Nondestructive Testing in Civil Engineering (NDT-CE) joint conference. The SMT and NDT-CE 2018 joint conference was held at the Hyatt Regency New Brunswick in New Brunswick, NJ, from August 27–29, 2018.

Lajnef highlighted the progress of research funded through FHWA's EAR Program that led to the development of a battery-free, wireless, multimetric sensing system for the continuous and autonomous monitoring of bridge components.

For more information about the conference, click here. For more information about the research project, read the fact sheet.

TRB Workshop on Future Freight and Logistics Survey

The Innovations in Freight Data Workshop took place in Irvine, CA, on May 17–18, 2017. On May 17, Dr. Moshe Ben Akiva from MIT spoke on a panel about technologies for monitoring, tracking, and data collection. He provided early information about an ongoing EAR Program-supported research project titled “Future Freight and Logistics Survey: Integrated Data Collection Using Mobile Sensing, Wireless Communication, and Machine Learning Algorithms.” Click here for more information about this TRB workshop.

Video Analytics Research Results Presented at the IEEE Workshop

On March 30, 2017 in Santa Rosa, CA, David Kuehn, FHWA’s program manager for the EAR program, presented results from EAR program-funded research on video analytics. Kuehn presented “Advances in Automating Analysis of Highway and Driver Video Image Data: Managing Low and Variable Image Quality” during the first International Workshop on Human Activity Analysis with Highly Diverse Cameras. The workshop took place as part of the biannual Workshop on Application of Computer Vision sponsored by the IEEE Computer Society Technical Committee on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence. Click here for more information about the workshopClick here for more information about the EAR program-funded research on video analytics

TRB Webinar: Technology Readiness Level Assessments for Research Program Managers and Customers

On April 28, 2016, the TRB conducted a webinar to present an overview of the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) Assessment for describing the maturity of highway research products. The FHWA worked with the Volpe Center to develop the assessment. The webinar included background on the assessment tool, examples of its use, and lessons on how it can be applied to highway transportation research programs. The first 60 minutes of the webinar included presentations, and the final 30 minutes was reserved for audience questions. TRB’s Standing Committee on Conduct of Research organized the webinar. For full details about the webinar, go to the webinar details page. Contact Reggie Gillum at with any questions regarding the webinar.

TRB Webinar: New Technologies for Renewable Energy in the Public Right-of-Way

On March 31, 2016, the TRB conducted a webinar to present an overview of the results of two FHWA EAR program studies on pursuing energy harvesting and application in the public right-of-way: (1) A Roadway Wind/Solar Hybrid Power Generation and Distribution System Technology; and (2) Kinetic-to-Electric Energy Conversion Technology as a Roadway Energy Harvester. Project researchers provided their approach, results, and recommendations for advancing their technologies. The webinar began with an introduction of the EAR program and motivation for the research and ended with a question-and-answer session. Click here for full details about the webinar. Contact Reggie Gillum at with any questions regarding the webinar.