Research Project

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Pooled Research for Driver Focused Studies


To use a synergistic approach across research focus areas to maximize resources (e.g., safety devices and techniques) for improved roadway safety.


Previously, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) contributed to driver-focused studies through the National Surface Transportation Safety Center of Excellence (NSTSCE) at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI). NSTSCE was established by the Federal Transportation Act of 2005. NSTSCE uses a synergistic approach across four research focus areas to maximize resources. These research focus areas comprise safety devices and techniques that enhance driver performance; evaluations of the built roadway environment and infrastructure-based safety systems; safe mobility for vulnerable road users; and driver impairment.


FMCSA has contributed FY 2017 funding to the NSTSCE in support of driver-focused research. The NSTSCE is supported financially and guided by a group of stakeholders that includes FMCSA, General Motors, Travelers Insurance Company, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), the Virginia Center for Transportation Research (VCTR), the National Safety Council (NSC) and VTTI. The NSTSCE steering committee, which FMCSA is a part of, meets biannually to review surface transportation safety research needs. A prioritized list of potential projects and a multi-year strategic plan are presented to the steering committee. The plan strives to coordinate NSTSCE research activities with those of FMCSA. The steering committee reviews and approves the strategic plan. Once the plan is approved, NSTSCE/VTTI will ensure that the work plan is developed and that research is conducted. NSTSCE/VTTI will provide the steering committee with updates, project status, and outreach. 

NSTSCE’s website is:

Published NSTSCE reports are available at:


Three to four research reports per year.



October 2017: Kick-off meeting
November 2017: 1st bi-annual meeting
April 2018: 2nd bi-annual meeting


FY14 Funding: $200,000
FY16 Funding: $200,000
FY17 Funding: $200,000

Project Manager:

For more information, contact Nicole Michel of the Research Division at (202) 366-4354 or


Virginia Tech Transportation Institute
Updated: Friday, May 25, 2018
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