The Federal Highway Research Institute (Bundesanstalt für Straßenwesen - BASt) is a technical and scientific research institute responsible to the Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development. The BASt provides the Ministry with scientifically sound assistance in making decisions on technical issues and transport policy and plays an important role in drawing up and harmonising national and European regulations and standards.
The overall objective of BASt ´s activities is to improve road safety as well as economic and operational efficiency of roads while paying attention to environmentally sound solutions. BASt acts as scientific counsellor to the federal government and to state highway authorities, and is appointed as the central agency for road safety research in Germany. All research activities are undertaken in close collaboration with national and international research institutions, highway authorities, industry, universities, and associations. The tasks of the BASt included evaluation of modern techniques permitting drivers to better manage complex traffic situations. Co-operative traffic and driver assistance systems are intended to improve traffic safety and to use the existing capacities of the road traffic system to their full extent.
In recent times, new communication and information technologies have been introduced that make it possible to implement more complex traffic management systems: the vehicles are individually addressed and traffic- and safety-relevant information is directly provided to the driver. Vehicles will also be able to exchange data with each other. The big challenge lies in supporting the various individual solutions while creating a technical as well as organisational and legal framework for integrating all partial solutions into a total system. The interests of the people who are supported by this innovative technology may not be neglected.
Research areas of BASt are human behaviour and road safety, traffic management, automotive engineering including co-operative traffic and driver assistance systems, and construction and maintenance of roads and bridges.