PennDOT Research Program Website

Learn about: Active, Completed, and Archived Projects. Current Contracting Mechanisms. PennDOT’s Transportation Pooled Fund Participation. Process for Implementing Research Results.

Research Roadmap — Transformational Technologies (other than CV/AV)

Transformational, or “disruptive” technologies, are those that can be expected to completely displace the status quo, forever changing the way we live and work. Common examples include the internet, the personal computer, email, and the smart phone. The development of the internal combustion engine is an example of a disruptive technology in the transportation sector.
More current examples of transformational technologies in transportation include connected and automated vehicles, bicycle sharing in urban centers, car sharing (e.g. Car2Go and Zipcar), on-demand shared ride services (such as Uber and Lyft), hybrid and other alternative-fueled vehicles, drones, e-retailing, and 3D printing. All of these are facilitated and further complicated by the “Internet of Things” – where systems are connected through embedded sensors and transmitters. The acquisition of real-time data on the infrastructure, vehicles, drivers, and goods will provide unprecedented opportunities to monitor the performance of our transportation systems.
Each of these technologies is the subject of a good deal of research, but collectively they will change the nature and role of the future Department of Transportation. Transformational technologies will impact the way we plan, design, construct, operate, and maintain our transportation systems. DOTs must prepare for an uncertain future and build a workforce with considerably different skill sets. The NCHRP has developed a research roadmap for connected and automated vehicles (through NCHRP Project 20-24(98)) and is carrying out a program of research to address identified needs. However, there are other transformational technologies that need to be studied and better understood.
There is a need to understand how transportation agencies will be impacted by transformational technologies in order to provide them with the information they need to develop strategic goals and objectives by analyzing the current issues and state of knowledge, identifying gaps and needs, and outlining a program of research to address those gaps and needs.
The objective of this research is to develop a research roadmap on transformational technologies and their impacts on state and local departments of transportation. A research roadmap is a type of strategic plan that outlines the key issues in an area, identifies research gaps that constrain effective decision-making, and outlines specific research projects needed to address these gaps.


The initial phase of this work is to support TRB’s Partners in Research Symposium: Transformational Technologies in Transportation through NCHRP Project 20-113A (link below). Upon completion, the panel will determine how best to use the remaining resources.

20-113A Support for TRB Symposium on Transformational Technologies Affecting Transportation


20-113F Topical White Papers for the TRB Forum on Automated Vehicles and Shared Mobility

Commercial Motor Vehicle Driver Fatigue, Long-Term Health, and Highway Safety: Research Needs (2016)

There are approximately 4,000 fatalities in crashes involving trucks and buses in the United States each year. Though estimates are wide-ranging, possibly 10 to 20 percent of these crashes might have involved fatigued drivers. The stresses associated with their particular jobs (irregular schedules, etc.) and the lifestyle that many truck and bus drivers lead, puts them at substantial risk for insufficient sleep and for developing short- and long-term health problems.

Research Needs on CMV Driver Fatigue, Long-Term Health and Highway Safety assesses the state of knowledge about the relationship of such factors as hours of driving, hours on duty, and periods of rest to the fatigue experienced by truck and bus drivers while driving and the implications for the safe operation of their vehicles. This report evaluates the relationship of these factors to drivers? health over the longer term, and identifies improvements in data and research methods that can lead to better understanding in both areas.

Pavement Roadmap Problem Statements: Theme 4

The final product of the research is a best practice guide for pavement management. Not only will this be a reference for all things related to pavement management, but it will also act as a “desk guide” for practitioners. To enhance access and implementation, it is envisioned that this guide will be developed and available through an electronic web-based format.

Research Needs Statements for Climate Change and Transportation

Transportation Research Board (TRB) E-Circular 144:
he objective of this effort was to develop a series of specific research needs statements on climate change and transportation for distribution to universities, students, research organizations, government agencies, and other interested parties for consideration in conducting and funding research in this important area.

The Wyoming Department of Transportation Research Center Guidelines

The Research Center Guidelines for the Wyoming Department of Transportation Research Center Guidelines (Guidelines) outline the research management process for reports and other research documents, and other research center management processes, pursuant to federal and state rules, regulations and statutes. The Guidelines emphasize
the research and development program interaction process; the research organizational structures for WYDOT and its federal partners; the program development process; the report writing process; the program evaluation and technology transfer process; and the data management process for digital materials and data. By following these Guidelines, WYDOT staff and stakeholders and the Principal Investigators/Contractors will be able to produce positive and meaningful results for research projects.

FY 2017 Annual Report

Research Administration