The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has awarded more than $2.6 million in the first round of its Accelerating Market Readiness program, which aims to help advance emerging transportation innovations to market by documenting their performance in real-world settings.
The FHWA issued seven awards to transportation innovators from state departments of transportation (DOT), academic institutions, and the private sector.
With the iTrain project, the Missouri DOT (MoDOT) will build on its early efforts developing virtual reality models for training work zone inspectors. MoDOT will also deploy a leader-follower truck mounted attenuator (TMA) system in the State’s two largest metropolitan areas and evaluate the system within a work zone setting. MoDOT’s ultimate goal for the project and deployment of the system is the elimination of worker injuries.
The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute will lead a project to implement a fully adaptive highway lighting system and monitor its performance in terms of light level, energy consumption, crash behavior, lighting quality, and security.
A project led by the Illinois Center for Transportation at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign will include the integration and field deployment of a ground penetrating radar (GPR)-based compaction monitoring system by retrofitting a conventional roller. The project will demonstrate the GPR-based tool for real-time continuous monitoring of density during asphalt concrete layer compaction.
From the private sector, Applied Research Associates will conduct a project focusing on the dynamic, viscoelastic back calculation of flexible pavement layer properties to fine-tune a software tool for an open source release available to highway agencies for routine usage. The tool’s use will potentially lead to more reliable pavement rehabilitation design, thereby improving the service life of pavements and improving the planning of transportation infrastructure.
Drexel University will lead a project to increase the robustness, readiness, and ease of installation of wireless sensors for bridge assessment; allow cloud-based sensor data transmission and automated report generation to summarize conditions of bridges; and achieve several rigorous validations in the field.
Finally, ThermalStare, LLC will advance a new technology for the safety analysis and load rating of in-service bridges. This project will field test and evaluate the capabilities of a nondestructive ultrasonic stress measurement technology with the ability to determine the total forces in steel bridge members and gusset plates in-situ.