Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)

Research and Technology Program

The FMCSA Research and Technology (R&T) program request is $11.6 million in FY 2012. This supports FMCSA's safety mission through the development of future agency regulations, programs, methodologies, ideas, and tools to advance CMV safety to improve safety. R&T funding supports diverse set of Agency's offices and priorities including: research to produce safer drivers via naturalistic driving, onboard monitoring, and driver fatigue programs; Policy Development and Rulemaking, examples include driver distraction, hours of service and entry level training; the Agency's Enforcement Activities including Hazardous Materials and Motorcoach research and the Agency's Congressionally-mandated Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) Program. The current budget was built via annual call for research proposals; the final proposals will be vetted and ranked by the Research Executive Board (REB). Each year the R&T Program is comprised of new starts and continuation projects. With the requested funds the following studies will be funded:

R&T PROGRAM NAME: Produce Safer Drivers: $4.2M

  • Annual Driver Survey. To obtain an understanding of the impact of changes in the commercial driver workforce to ensure safety and well-being of its members. The results will be used to develop and evaluate rules, regulations, policies, and enforcement activities for the motor carrier industry.
  • CDL Endorsement for Fuel-Saving Driving. Draft a consensus-based standard for fuel-savings driving techniques training. Evaluate the results of drivers trained under such a standard against other drivers. Develop approaches to certifying completion of this training as part of a commercial driver's license (CDL).
  • Driver DistractionEye Glance Analysis: An Evaluation of the Risks Posed by Electronic Devices. Complete an in-depth study of eye glance behavior as it relates to crash risk. Eye glance behavior is of fundamental importance to gain a more detailed understanding of how eye movements are associated with crash risk.
  • Effects of Detention Times on CMV Driver Fatigue. The purpose of this research is to better understand the nature of the problem of detention or waiting times in the CMV industry.
  • Expert Panel Report Review of Hours of Service for Passenger Carrier Operations. The objective of this project is to convene an expert panel to review the research and make recommendations regarding changes to passenger carrier hours of service (HOS) regulations.
  • Impact of Driver Compensation Systems on CMV Safety. The objective of this study is to examine the impact of driver compensation (i.e., pay per mile or pay by the hour) on CMV safety.
  • Individualized Fatigue Risk Management in Trucking Operations. The objective of this project is to develop an individualized FMP model that takes into account individual differences and driving performance. This model will be developed into a tool that could be commercialized for use by the motor carrier industry for scheduling CMV drivers.
  • North American Fatigue Management Program (Phase IV). The objective of this study is develop materials, guidelines, standards and processes necessary for a motor carrier to prepare for and implement a comprehensive and effective fatigue management program (FMP).
  • Onboard Monitoring Field Operational Test: 270 Truck Study. The objective of the OBMS program is to determine whether on-board monitoring will reduce at-risk behavior among commercial drivers and improve driver safety performance. This project will execute a Field Operation Test (FOT) of an onboard monitoring suite with at three commercial vehicle fleets that are representative of the trucking industry. Across these fleets, 270 OBMS devices will be used and instrumented on trucks.
  • Performance-Based Testing of Driver Skills/Capabilities. The objective of this research is to determine the extent to which older CMV drivers pose a safety risk. This research is needed to support future rulemaking aimed at developing performance-base testing and determining the cost and safety benefits of such a program.
  • Random Roadside Drug Testing Analysis. The objective is to develop a voluntary random roadside drug testing survey that tests for the same DOT requirements in order to more accurately measure the current baseline level of illegal drug usage by CMV drivers, and to measure the future effectiveness of FMCSA's drug and alcohol program initiatives.
  • Safety Data Risk Study (Phase III). The objective of this study is to investigate the feasibility of identifying CMV driver factors that increase the risk of large truck crashes.
  • Study of Alternative Methods to Reduce Driver Exposure to Diesel Exhaust PM2.5. This study will investigate alternatives to reduce emission that enter a truck cab thereby improving air quality that driver are exposed to while sleeping in a sleeper berth
  • Study of Individual Driver Factors that make them Vulnerable to Fatigue. The objective of this research is to determine if it is possible to identify individuals who may be vulnerable to fatigue and provide set of best practices for motor carriers aim at reducing driver fatigue by matching driver fatigue vulnerability to work schedules.
  • Update to the Model Training Curriculum for Motorcoach Drivers. This research will update the model curriculum for training motorcoach drivers by obtaining and incorporating the necessary information.
  • Wireless Roadside Inspection Field Operational Test (Phase III). To improve highway safety through the dramatic increase of roadside safety inspections of heavy trucks and buses and their drivers enabled by wireless communications between vehicles and inspectors at highway.

RD&T PROGRAM NAME: Improve Safety of CMVs: $1.9M

  • CMV/Train Collision Avoidance. To develop a system for avoiding/minimizing a collision between a commercial vehicle and a train at a highway-railroad grade crossing.
  • Enhanced Rear Signaling Field Operational Test. The countermeasures developed in this project will be field tested on a fleet of heavy trucks to determine their potential to reduce rear end crashes involving heavy trucks.
  • FMCSA Advanced System Testing Data Acquisition System on the Highways (FAST DASH) Program. The objective of the FAST DASH (FMCSA's Advanced System Testing program utilizing a Data Acquisition System Highway) is to conduct a fast turn-around and independent evaluation of promising safety technologies aimed at commercial vehicle operations.

R&T PROGRAM NAME: Produce Safer Carriers: $1.1M

  • Analysis of the Effectiveness of the FMCSA CSA 2010 Training Program. To analyze the effectiveness of FMCSA's CSA2010 Training Program in enhancing the FMCSA workforce's knowledge and ability to conduct enforcement and compliance reviews to improve commercial motor vehicle safety.
  • Hazardous Materials Navigation Safety and Security System. To develop a low-cost hazardous materials (HM) navigation system for motor carriers and drivers that take into account HM routing based on safety and security concerns.
  • Research to Support FMCSA Rulemaking Activities. The objective of this activity is to fund an Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract for research to support FMCSA's rulemaking activities.

R&T PROGRAM NAME: Information-Based Initiatives: $0.5M

  • National CVISN Deployment Program. The objective of this activity is to work with eligible States and motor carrier industry stakeholders to implement expanded CVISN capabilities that improve the safety and productivity of commercial vehicle operations, and enhance transportation security in four primary areas: driver information sharing, enhanced safety information exchange, smart roadside, and expanded electronic credentialing.

R&T PROGRAM NAME: Enable and Motivate Internal Excellence: $1.4M

  • FMCSA CMV Roadside Technology Corridor. The objective is to demonstrate and evaluate new CMV safety enforcement technologies in the real-world setting of a fully operational roadside safety inspection and weigh station with truck and bus safety inspectors.
  • FMCSA Program Management. The objective is to improve the performance and excellence of the Office of Analysis, Research, and Technology (ART), as well as the Agency.
  • TRB/FMCSA Partnerships. The objective is to broaden participation and utilize expertise of the Transportation Research Board (TRB) in FMCSA safety solutions and ART program evaluation.



(In thousands of dollars)

FY 2012
Pres. Bud.
FY 2012
FY 2012
Motor Carrier Safety 11,106 11,640 6,476 814
A. Produce Safe Drivers 3,697 4,195 2,195 250
1. Produce Safe Drivers 1,997 2,445 2,195 250
2. Produce Safe Drivers (T) 1,700 1,750 NA NA
B. Improve Safety of Commercial Vehicles 1,754 1,850 200 0
1. Improve Safety of Commercial Vehicles 0 200 200 0
2. Improve Safety of Commercial Vehicles (T) 1,754 1,650 NA NA
C. Produce Safer Carriers 229 1,130 980 300
1. Produce Safer Carriers 229 1,130 980 300
2. Produce Safer Carriers (T) 0 0 NA NA
D. Advanced Safety Through Info-Based Initiatives 1,542 450 0 0
1. Advanced Safety Through Info-Based Initiatives 842 0 0 0
2. Advanced Safety Through Info-Based Initiatives (T) 700 450 NA NA
E. Enable and Motivate Internal Excellence 1,321 1,375 725 0
1. Enable and Motivate Internal Excellence 1,021 725 725 0
2. Enable and Motivate Internal Excellence (T) 300 650 NA NA
F. Administrative Expenses 2,563 2,640 2,376 264
Subtotal, Research & Development 6,652 7,140 6,476 814
Subtotal, Technology Investment (T) 4,454 4,500    
Subtotal, Facilities (F) 0 0    
Total FMCSA 11,106 11,640 6,476 814