U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
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While the scan team obtained many useful ideas during its European study, six specific topics were selected as potential high-reward areas of opportunity in the United States:
Since the team's observations in each of these six areas have been summarized in previous chapters of this report, this section only briefly sketches some implementation goals. More details can be found in the scan tour implementation plan.
This is possibly the most important implementation recommendation formulated by the team. Widespread adoption of this new road design standard has great potential for improving safety and mobility on two-lane roads with only modest capital costs compared to four-lane roads. Implementation objectives are to promote awareness of self-organizing roads, assemble a group of States willing to implement this new road design, facilitate the flow of information from Europe to these States, and establish an evaluation mechanism to compare costs and benefits of the 2+1 design.
While the state of the art in driving simulators in the United States is at least equal to that in Europe, Europeans have gained substantial benefits by using their driving simulators to assist in the design and visualization of roadways. It is far easier and cheaper to identify design flaws in simulators than to rebuild roads and tunnels. Implementation objectives are to promote awareness of this use of driving simulators among the road-design community, establish a mechanism to aid road designers in using driving simulators, and demonstrate and document the benefits of this new application of driving simulators.
The VALT standardized investigation protocol used in Finland is based on teams representing several disciplines. The implementation objective is to determine how and if such multidisciplinary teams could be used in the United States.
The United States has recognized the need to better understand the factors contributing to crashes, and to develop tools such as cognitive models that can predict driver behavior when roadway and vehicle configurations are altered. The European research community has organized to coordinate research efforts and create virtual networks, such as HUMANIST, that facilitate fundamental long-term research efforts. The implementation objectives are to assess benefits and opportunities for coordinating long-term research and development in the United States, and to explore whether human factors and cognitive model research and development can be a focus for an innovative mechanism for long-term coordinated research. A further objective is to increase awareness of one particular human-centered roadway project: the pedestrian research findings from SINTEF in Norway.
Great strides in road safety improvement have been accomplished in Europe because of commitments from the highest levels of government. Implementation objectives are to share European models of top-down leadership, and provide key governmental leaders with critical facts and information that will motivate a similar leadership commitment in the United States.
The team observed several effective tools in Europe that managed speed successfully. Implementation objectives are to increase awareness of these tools and strategies, and to promote the involvement of the insurance and motor vehicle manufacturing industries in intelligent speed adaptation systems.
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