You are here

Office of Operations Research and Development

The Office of Operations Research and Development (R&D) continually improves operations-related technology through research, development, and testing. Operations includes vehicle operations on highways, focusing on efficiently, effectively, and safely moving vehicles on roads; finding solutions that address congestion; finding ways to increase the number of people and goods able to travel on different road types; vehicle–infrastructure interactions; intelligent transportation systems; and tolling.

The Office of Operations R&D primarily supports other Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) offices, the FHWA Resource Center and the Research and Innovative Technology Administration’s (RITA) Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Joint Program Office (JPO) in the development of near-term research, development, and technology (RD&T) program plans and projects; demonstration field tests of technologies; and evaluation of customer needs, acceptance, and benefits of new operations-related products.

The Office of Operations R&D is comprised of three teams of scientists and engineers, who work on operations-related research. The majority of the research is funded through outside programs including the ITS Program, FHWA’s Exploratory Advanced Research (EAR) Program, FHWA’s Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR), and FHWA’s Pooled Fund Program. The teams work on the following focus areas:

Office of Operations R&D Teams
Team NameFocus Areas
Transportation Enabling Technologies TeamThe Transportation Enabling Technologies team performs research on the development and integration of technologies that will enable the deployment of advanced intelligent transportation systems and operations systems, such as cooperative vehicle-highway systems. Examples of enabling technologies include communication systems, enhanced global positioning systems (GPS), traffic control algorithms, and traffic sensors.
Transportation Operations Concepts and Analysis TeamThe Transportation Operations Concepts and Analysis team performs research related to modeling and simulation of ITS, connected vehicles strategies and innovative designs to determine feasibility, create visualization, and to conduct benefit cost analysis.
Transportation Operations Applications TeamThe Transportation Operations Applications team performs research on hardware and software tools and strategies to test and develop innovative transportation applications that improve operations. Many of these applications are tested and developed onsite at Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center’s Cooperative Vehicle Highway Testbed.
Updated: Monday, December 2, 2019