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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Office of Operations Research and Development

  Advances the body of knowledge and technology to address national transportation goals.

"This diagram illustrates the connected nature of Office of Operations Research and Development projects. An icon of people at the top left is labeled “Teams, Scientists and Engineers.” The icon rests on top of a building labeled “Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center (TFHRC).” The TFHRC includes tours, labs, and directions. To the right of this is a vehicle labeled “CARMA,” illustrating the cooperative driving automation (CDA) research and development at TFHRC. Moving to the right, a graph labeled “Funding” is connected to CDA, which then connects to an illustration of a smartphone labeled “Contributors” and an icon labeled “Supports.” These then connect to a computer/connectivity icon labeled “Analysis, Modeling, and Simulation Tools (AMS),” which connects to a calendar icon labeled “Projects” and a traffic light icon labeled “Intelligent Transportation System Technologies (ITS).” There are arrows running throughout the diagram to show that every pieces of the ecosystem influences the others."

  • Promote transportation equity in all communities.
  • Improve traffic efficiency, effectiveness, and safety.
  • Address congestion.
  • Address increases in traffic on different road types.
  • Facilitate vehicle–infrastructure interactions.
  • Develop intelligent transportation systems.
  • Enable cooperative driving automation (CDA).
  • Analyze, model, and simulate transportation systems management and operations (TSMO) scenarios.


  • Research, development, and technology program plans and projects.
  • Demonstration field tests of technologies.
  • Stakeholder needs, acceptance, and benefits related to new transportation operations products.


  • Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) offices.
  • FHWA Resource Center.
  • Office of the Secretary of Transportation for Research.
  • Intelligent Transportation Systems Joint Program Office.


  • Highway Research and Development Program.
  • United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Program.
  • FHWA Exploratory Advanced Research Program.
  • Small Business Innovative Research Program. 
  • Transportation Pooled Fund Program. 

 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.


 Analysis, Modeling, and Simulation (AMS) Tools 

Develops methods and tools to improve both the state-of-the-practice and state-of-the-art of traffic AMS to enable public agencies to make the best possible transportation operations and investment decisions.

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.


 Truck Platooning

  Supports advancing technologies that enable trucks to travel closely together to improve
  on energy consumption while maintaining safety and traffic efficiency.


Capabilities and Resources

Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center (TFHRC) Facility and Staff Expertise

Teams of scientists, engineers, and communicators who work on innovative, operations-related research in agile environments to advance transportation efficiency and safety and enable the deployment of ITS. Learn more about TFHRC research in the FHWA Research Project Search.

 Saxton Transportation Operations Laboratory (STOL)

A state-of-the art research facility in TFHRC for conducting cutting-edge transportation operations research and development with the goal of accelerating transportation safety, efficiency, and mobility. Learn more about STOL research in the Project Directory.