Other efforts to accelerate the implementation of transportation research are ongoing at the national level.
- FHWA International Technology Scanning Program
The International Scanning Program serves as a means to access innovative technologies and practices in other countries that could significantly improve highways and highway transportation services in the United States. The program enables innovations to be adapted and put into practice much more efficiently without spending scarce research funds to re-create advances already developed by other countries. Personal domestic and international networking, team dynamics, and the creation of domestic champions for promising foreign ideas are keystones of the scan process. Successful implementation in the U.S. of the world’s best practices is the goal of the program.
- AASHTO Innovation Initiative
Formerly the AASHTO Technology Implementation Group, the AASHTO Innovation Initiative advances innovation from the grassroots up: by agencies, for agencies, peer-to-peer. The program actively seeks out proven advancements in transportation technology, investing time and money to accelerate their adoption by agencies nationwide. Each year, the program selects highly valuable technologies, processes, software, or other innovations that have been adopted by at least one agency, are proven in use, and will be of significant benefit to other agencies.
- TRB’s Innovations Deserving Exploratory Analysis programs
The IDEA programs fund research into promising but unproven innovations for highways, transportation safety, and transit. IDEA programs differ from traditional research programs in two ways: IDEA projects are initiated by researchers rather than by a request for proposals, and funding can support initial testing of unproven concepts. Each of the sponsoring agencies supports programmed, fundamental research through other means. Their investment in the IDEA programs is meant to capture the unexpected concept that challenges conventional thinking.
- FHWA’s Vanguard Technologies
The Vanguard Technology initiative is designed to greatly accelerate the widespread adoption of high-payoff innovations to benefit road users. In the past, it could take decades for innovations to become mainstream. The Vanguard Technology process uses dedicated teams, proven marketing approaches and designated funding to deploy innovations much faster. For each innovation, technical and marketing experts identify needs, set implementation goals, develop a strategy and work to accelerate adoption across the country.