Federal Highway Research Institute
The Federal Highway Research Institute (Bundesanstalt für Straßenwesen, BASt) was founded in 1951. BASt began its work with research in the field of highway construction. In 1965 BASt was commissioned, beyond the scope of highway construction tasks, to work towards enhancing highway capacity and safety. In 1970 the Federal Parliament voted to establish a central agency for road traffic accident research which was set up at BASt.
Today BASt is a practice-oriented, technical and academic research institute of the Federal Government with a focus on the road sector. It covers diverse research subjects resulting from the relationship between road, people, and the environment. Its function consists of improving the safety, environmental compatibility, economic viability, and efficiency of roads.
BASt provides scientifically based decision support to the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (Bundesministerium für Verkehr und digitale Infrastruktur, BMVI) in technical and transport policy issues. BASt is among the leading institutes in a network of centres of research excellence in the roads sector, and substantially involved in developing regulations and standards at the international level. Consultancy and expert opinions, reviewing and certifying are also among BASt‘s functions. Moreover, BASt is an assessment centre for driving licensing.
Its headquarters have been in Bergisch Gladbach since 1983 on premises covering about 20 hectares, including ten experimental halls and large-scale test facilities, some of them unique in the world. Since 2017 BASt has also been operating the Demonstration, Investigation and Reference Area (duraBASt) at the Cologne-East motorway.