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A Vision of A Future Intermodal System: How Research Can Lead to Safe, Mobile, & Sustainable Networks

National Conference On Intermodal Transportation October 12, 2012

Future Network Vision

Transportation Networks that provide

  • Safety, where deaths and serious injuries are rare events;
  • Efficiency, where travel times are assured;
  • Conservation of resources, where infrastructure conditions and system operations minimize the need for new materials and energy

Key Processes

  • Focus on high-risk, high payoff research
  • Merit review is used to enhance the quality of research processes and results
  • Research stakeholders are involved throughout 
  • Commitment to successful project handoff

Partner Collaboration

  • Research stakeholders are involved throughout 
    • From scoping of focus areas through communication of research results 
  • Stakeholders include
    • Academic
    • Government (federal, state, and local)
    • Industry (businesses, associations)
    • International

Breadth with Depth

  • All projects begin with initial stage investigations
    • Reference searches, scanning trips, convening workshops, etc.
  • Assure leverage of the most recent, relevant and advanced research from all fields
  • Not all initial stage investigations lead to (or are expected to lead to) research investments

Focus Areas

  • Connected highway and vehicle systems
  • Breakthrough concepts in material science 
  • Human behavior and travel choices
  • New technology and advanced policies for energy and resource conservation
  • Technology for assessing performance

    Cross cutting
  • Nanoscale research
  • Information sciences

Program Status

  • 100+ Initial stage investigations
    • Video decoding, feature extraction
    • Adaptive materials
  • Six solicitations resulting in
    • 50 projects awarded; 37 ongoing
    • $43M federal, $17M match
  • 7th closed October 4
    • Topics: Novel binders, low-powered, wireless sensors


EAR Program Payoff

  • Pointing the way to new technology, applications
  • Connecting with new partners
  • Growing scientific capacity and pushing disciplinary frontiers
    • Building tools that accelerate discovery, allow for new measurements, concepts
  • Encouraging original ideas