Federal Highway Research Institute

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Research objectives: Explanations

Efficiency in construction and maintenance

Efficiency is a criteria to describe whether a measure is likely to achieve a given goal in the field of construction and maintenance while preserving the efficiency (ratio between the achieved success and use of funds). A measure is efficient compared to other options if it has cost advantages for a similar effect or if it has a higher effect at the same cost.

Reliability of road infrastructure

A reliable transport infrastructure is one of the essential preconditions for sustainable mobility and economic growth. The infrastructure must be able to carry out its functions over the expected lifetime in accordance with its dimensioning and adapted to the traffic situation, without posing any hazard.

Traffic Safety

Traffic safety on the road is characterized by the avoidance of accidents and the reduction of their consequences. Road safety is measured by the number of people killed or injured in accidents and the material damage, taking also account of the relation to transport demand and the severity of an accident. Measures to improve or maintain road safety can focus on the road users, the infrastructure or the vehicle.

Performance of roads as a transport system

Performance describes the existence of the necessary conditions of the road transport system to provide its functions (measured as vehicle miles or traffic volume) permanently. Thus, the infrastructure should be dimensioned according to the target that the expected traffic demand can be satisfied with a reasonable traffic quality. Furthermore, the performance of the infrastructure during operation must be ensured when cost-effective maintenance measures are carried out.

Environmental sustainability

Under environmental sustainability all kinds of direct and indirect environmental effects caused by humans are subsumed which may have an impact on the environmental conditions of soil, water, air, climate, people, animals and plants.

Resilience of the transport system road

Resilience is the ability of road infrastructure to minimize damages due to unwanted and unplanned adverse events, such as natural disasters and to enable rapid re-commissioning. This includes the preparation, planning for and adapting to these events.

Technological progress in Highway Engineering

Technological progress refers to any improvement from the technical starting point or all technical innovations in Highway Engineering.