HVSIA definition and history

Although Accelerated Pavement Testing (APT) is generally recognized as one of the most effective methods of evaluating improvements in pavement design and performance, it is expensive relative to other, typical pavement research activities. As a result, collaboration between APT programs, as well as other research efforts, is often discussed as a potential to improve the efficiency of APT research. The Heavy Vehicle Simulator International Alliance (HVSIA)(HVSIA) was formally organized in 2003, based on discussions initiated at the HVS workshop hosted by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the Gauteng Department of Public Transport, Roads and Works (Gautrans) in South Africa in 2002. The intent of the workshop was for APT programs using the HVS to present information on their APT research, and to discuss the possibility of collaboration.

From this beginning the following HVS programs became members of the HVSIA:

  • Gautrans, through the South African CSIR Built Environment group. The HVS was originally developed by CSIR in the late 1960s, and HVSs have been used for APT research in South Africa since the early 1970s.
  • The US Army Corps of Engineers, with the
    • Engineering Research and Development Center (ERDC) at Vicksburg, Mississippi, USA which began use of a larger version of the HVS for airfield related testing in late 1998, and
    • Cold Regions Research Engineering Laboratory (CRREL) at Hanover, New Hampshire, USA which began their HVS program in early 1997.
  • The Nordic HVS program, (VTI) originally established by Finland and Sweden in 1998, and currently operated solely by Sweden.
  • The Florida Department of Transportation (FDoT) which began HVS testing in 2002.
  • India
  • China

The first six of the above programs were represented at the 2002 workshop in South Africa, and at the final session it was recommended that an ongoing effort at collaboration between programs be initiated, with the primary collaborative topic being pavement engineering focused through HVS technology. During 2009 the Indian and Chinese programs became members of the HVSIA due to their purchasing and initiating HVS programs. Discussions specific to HVS operations suggested that the various programs could benefit by:

  • Sharing results and analysis methodologies;
  • Sharing information about machine and instrumentation insights;
  • Collaborating on software development, and
  • Holding specific meetings that could address specific HVS issues.

The participants agreed that the workshop had been invaluable in acquainting each program with the research, results and concerns of the other participating programs, and that the technical working sessions had been very useful. The major outcome of the workshop was that it was clear that a collaborative HVS consortium could benefit all participants and it was decided to establish such a consortium. The management and organization were finalized at a consortium meeting during 2003.

The current objectives of the HVSIA as outlined in the constitution are:

  • Promote and share knowledge related to HVS technology;
  • Establish a structure for ongoing interactions on topics related to pavement engineering with a specific focus on the HVS technology;
  • Establish mechanisms for funding, monitoring and completing studies of common issues through the optimum participation of members;
  • Provide expertise so that studies of interest can be expeditiously defined, managed and results reviewed;
  • Optimize the use of resources through the coordination of HVS related research.
  • Discuss and document HVS-related research practice and implementation of results, and
  • Identify new technology and upgrades desired by the group.

Above information was taken from a detailed paper on the history and development of the HVSIA program by Harvey et al (2008) presented at the 3rd International Conference on Accelerated Pavement Testing in Spain.

HVSIA outputs

It is the aim of the HVSIA to not only discuss issues of importance to owners of HVSs, but also generate outputs of importance to potential users of HVSs as well as the general pavement engineering fraternity. In this regard the following outputs over the last number of years can be highlighted. Links to these outputs are available on the HVSIA website:

  • HVSIA matrix
    • The HVSIA matrix provides a detailed summary of the work that was conducted by the various HVS owners in a host of different pavement engineering fields. This includes most of the traditional pavement construction materials, and topics such as permanent deformation, road maintenance, environmental issues etc. The matrix provides direct access to a summary of the specific projects with which the specific facility was involved with, as well as links to selected papers and reports emanating from the research. The matrix serves as a guideline regarding previous and planned HVS work to prevent duplication of efforts where possible.
Screenshot from HVSIA matrix
Screenshot from HVSIA matrix
  • HVSIA protocols and procedures
    • Various test protocols and procedures for use in accelerated pavement testing were developed by the members of the HVSIA and are available on the HVSIA website. These include guidance on the planning and execution of HVS tests, as well as analysis of data.
  • HVSIA related papers
    • Members of the HVSIA regularly present papers on their HVS related work. These papers are typically presented at conferences such as TRB, ICAP, BCRA, SATC etc. One specific conference where these papers are highlighted is the International Conference on Accelerated Pavement Testing. Members of the HVSIA were active in the arrangement of this suite of conferences. Proceedings and information of the past three conferences can be obtained at relevant websites (APT1, APT2, APT3), while the arrangements for the Fourth International Conference on Accelerated Pavement Testing is currently planned for 201x in Davis, California (APT4).
  • Location and project summary of HVSs
    • A summary of the location of most HVS tests conducted by the various HVS programs can be found on the HVS website. On each of the relevant test locations, a short summary of the tests conducted at the site, as well as links to reports are provided.

HVSIA contacts

The current chair of the HVSIA is Dr Don Alexander mailto:[email protected] of the US Corps of Engineering. He can be contacted regarding any of the current activities of the HVSIA. Otherwise, any of the current members as indicated on the HVSIA website can be contacted for further information.