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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Advanced Vehicle Technology

Volpe’s Advanced Vehicle Technology Division performs engineering research and analysis to facilitate the deployment of advanced safety and mobility technologies in motor vehicles.

We focus on crash avoidance and severity mitigation systems, automated vehicle applications, cooperative automated driving systems, connected vehicle safety, electronics reliability of automotive control systems, and cybersecurity of vehicle systems and telematics.

The results of our work support all levels of government and industry with the engineering foundation and information necessary to do the following:

  • Build and deploy advanced-technology automotive systems to improve traffic safety and mobility
  • Issue safety and cybersecurity standards, guidelines, and best practices
  • Understand the societal safety problems from motor vehicle crashes and recalls
  • Perform cost-safety benefits analysis of advanced automotive technologies

Facilitate cooperation between government and industry organizations to address national safety, mobility, and cybersecurity issues


  • Safe reliability analysis of automotive electronic systems
  • Safety analysis of rechargeable energy storage systems
  • Motor vehicle crash analysis
  • Development of crash countermeasure concepts
  • State-of-the-art technology assessment
  • Development of performance requirements for safety systems
  • Objective testing of vehicle safety systems
  • Evaluation of field operational tests
  • Simulation of system-vehicle-driver interactions
  • Safety benefits estimation

SafetyHAT Transportation Safety Hazard Analysis Tool

The transportation systems Safety Hazard Analysis Tool (SafetyHAT) is a software tool that facilitates hazard analysis using the System-Theoretic Process Analysis (STPA). STPA is a hazard identification method based on a top-down system engineering approach and control systems theory. While some familiarity with STPA is expected before using this tool, one of the primary goals of SafetyHAT is to help safety analysts become proficient with the STPA method. SafetyHAT includes transportation-oriented guide phrases and causal factors that tailor the STPA method to transportation systems.

Learn more about SafetyHAT.

Featured Work

A car approaches a mother and son crossing a road at a crosswalk.
How Effective Are Pedestrian Detection Systems in Cars?

Cadillacs platooning
How an Automated Car Platoon Works

A parked fleet of heavy trucks
Experts Reveal Safety Impact of Following Distances between Heavy Trucks in Automated Platoons

Meet Our Team

View selected staff biographies

Wassim Najm

Chief, Advanced Vehicle Technology


Last updated: Wednesday, January 12, 2022