U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
The Global Benchmarking Program (GBP) serves as a tool for accessing, evaluating, and implementing proven global innovations that have the potential to significantly improve highway transportation in the U.S. Instead of re-creating advances already developed by other countries, the program focuses on acquiring and adopting technologies and best practices already available and used abroad. This is accomplished through studies that connect FHWA and State DOT representatives with transportation advances and experts around the world. The main focus of the program is on advancing innovation through the implementation of key findings and recommendations in the U.S. context. Ultimately, the goal of the GBP is to improve safety, avoid duplicative research, reduce overall costs, accelerate improvements to our transportation system, and ensure our Nation's transportation system is world class.
Under the GBP approach, study topics are generated and selected by FHWA leadership to ensure they support Departmental and Agency priorities and strategic goals. In addition, each topic goes through a risk analysis to identify any potential pitfalls and to ensure GBP studies produce the highest level of benefit. The program also features a strategic and flexible methodology that includes the completion of substantial front-end information collection and a diverse range of interactions with foreign experts.
GBP studies typically involve face-to-face discussions with professionals in other countries and technical site visits to observe foreign innovations firsthand. Each study spans a one-week period and may include visits to several locations. GBP studies can also involve other information collection and knowledge exchange mechanisms with foreign professionals such as virtual exchange, peer-to- peer forums, conferences, etc. Recognizing the vital role of State Departments of Transportation (State DOTs) in getting innovative solutions into practice, studies include the participation of up to two State DOT technical representatives. These individuals are selected by the American Association of State and Highway Transportation Officials (AASHTO) and their participation is funded through the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP).
The most critical element and primary goal of the Global Benchmarking Program (GBP) is the implementation of key findings and recommendations derived from the studies. This goal is fundamental to the program's success. Toward this end, each study includes the development of a report to inform relevant partners and stakeholders of study findings as well as an implementation plan that outlines strategies for communicating, promoting, and implementing key study findings and recommendations.
Global Benchmarking Reports:
Work is underway on the following Global Benchmarking studies:
This study seeks to learn how other countries use Building Information Modeling (BIM) capabilities for roadways to better deliver transportation projects and manage assets throughout their life cycle. The study will identify effective practices, lessons learned, and benefits realized by other countries that could inform USDOT and FHWA efforts to facilitate wider U.S. deployment of BIM for transportation infrastructure projects. The goal of the study is to accelerate highway project delivery and increase productivity and efficiency by advancing the use of BIM. In doing so, it is anticipated that the study will also help U.S. industry better compete better in the global arena where BIM is being rapidly implemented by other countries.
This study seeks to learn how other countries have successfully used electrically isolated tendons (EIT) as a non-destructive evaluation technology for their post-tensioned (PT) bridge structures. The goal is to understand effective practices and lessons learned and then bring this information to U.S. bridge owners so that they can advance the state of practice and improve the monitoring, construction quality, durability, and long-term performance of PT bridge structures, which represent a major component of the U.S. bridge inventory.
The use of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) and associated technologies are rapidly advancing in many areas, including highway transportation applications. In addition to the numerous opportunities that UAS provide there are also many challenges. There is a need to develop a more complete knowledge base in the U.S. that is beyond flight operations and regulations and looks more discretely at specific operations, such as construction inspection, bridge inspection, and incident response operations.
The purpose of this study is to examine international usage of UAS and associated success - the focus being on gaining an understanding of the logistics and capabilities of utilizing UAS technology for managing transportation infrastructure. The goal of the study is to leverage international experience and lessons learned in order to advance the adoption of UAS technology for transportation applications in the U.S.