An important part of technology transfer is the process of transferring and disseminating transportation related, scientific information to stakeholders who may apply it for public or private use. DOT uses vehicles such as the Lab to Market (L2M) initiative to facilitate the T2 process. L2M’s goal is to increase the economic impact of Federally-funded research and development by accelerating and improving the transfer of new technologies from federal laboratories to the commercial marketplace. One of several efforts of L2M is to increase the use of Federally-funded research facilities by entrepreneurs and innovators.
Collaboration is the lifeblood of technology transfer and the Department’s touchstone. DOT is committed to establishing and sustaining cooperative partnerships - both public and private - to ensure a steady stream of innovative and creative technology-driven transportation solutions that are applicable in a variety of context.
From Research to Reality, Volpe Brings Side Guards to Large Trucks
When trucks with high ground clearances - such as 18 wheelers, dump and garbage trucks - strike vulnerable road users, (bicyclists and pedestrians), those users can fall into the exposed space between the front and rear wheels. The results can be disastrous. Victims can suffer crushing injuries and many times those injuries become fatal. Side guards physically cover that exposed space. Volpe’s National Transportation Systems Center (Volpe) did some research on the side guards being used and have been mandated in the UK since the 1980’s and saw the significant decrease in fatalities and serious injury since their adoption. Armed with this knowledge Volpe decided it was time to bring the technology to the United States. Since that time Volpe has worked with Boston, New York City and San Francisco to have the guard rails installed on qualifying vehicles and are slated to begin consulting with Chicago, Seattle, Albany and Washington DC to further advance this initiative towards nationwide adoption. Read more.
eStress™ system: A Quantitative, Non-destructive, Residual Stress Assessment Tool for Pipelines
DOT’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration’s (PHMSA) funding of the Small Business Innovation and Research (SBIR) program has led to the development of the eStress™ system. This system is a nondestructive evaluation process that is designed to help pipeline operators find problem areas in the walls of a pipe, before serious damage occurs. Read more.
Underwriters Laboratory (UL) Adopts Microscale Combustion Calorimeter (MCC)2
Underwriters Laboratories (UL) recently adopted the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA)-patented Microscale Combustion Calorimeter (MCC) Developers Rich Lyon and Rich Walters of the Fire Safety Branch created it to determine if manufactured materials are compliant with the UL 94 flammability test standard. Read more.
Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Provides Incentives to States to Field Test Research Results
The FHWA State Transportation Innovation Council (STIC) Incentive program provides resources to help States and local highway agencies to continue to search for and employ innovative transportation in their States. A STIC is an established group of representatives from various levels of the highway community in each State. Each group is responsible for comprehensively and strategically finding sources of innovation for their particular state. In 2014, 36 States received a total of $3.5 million in STIC Incentive funds to advance the use of innovations such as 3D modeling, high friction surface treatments, design-build contracting, and diverging diamond interchange design into standard practice across the State. Several of the innovations are part of the FHWA’s Every Day Counts initiative, which selects proven, market-ready innovations and provides technical assistance to accelerate their deployment.
Volpe’s Wake Turbulence Analysis Increases Airport Efficiency
Volpe’s collection and analysis of aircraft wake turbulence data at airports has allowed them to provide the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) with recommendations for changes to improve terminal air traffic safety and increase efficiency for more than 40 years. Because of this exchange of information and Volpe’s ongoing support, the FAA has achieved several significant milestones including the approval of the Safety Risk Management Document for Wake Turbulence Mitigation for Arrivals–Procedural (WTMA–P) for Philadelphia International and Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County airports. These procedures have greatly improved and enhanced runway safety procedures and efficiency. Read more.