Innovations Deserving Exploratory Analysis (IDEA) programs explore promising but unproven concepts with the potential to advance specific surface transportation systems.
The Rail Safety IDEA program investigates innovative concepts and methods to improve safety and performance of railroads.
The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) endeavors to provide funding for the Transportation Research Board (TRB) of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to continue to carry out the Rail Safety IDEA program.
FRA funding for the Safety IDEA program has been provided since October 200 2. FRA joined the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), as a joint sponsor of the Safety IDEA program.
FMCSA has been funding the Safety IDEA program since the program started in October 200 1. In 2013, the Rail Safety IDEA program has become completely independent and separate from the FMCSA; therefore, all projects funded by this Grant must be railroad related projects.
The Rail Safety IDEA programs explore innovative concepts that are initiated and proposed by researchers, inventors, universities, or companies, both within and outside the usual transportation research community.