High Volume Transport

Vital transport research to ensure accessible, affordable and climate friendly transport for all.

HDM-4 Phase II


The objective of HDM-4 is to be the primary cost-benefit analysis software tool of choice for both public and private developers undertaking road infrastructure projects. A stretch objective is to begin to incorporate other features that encompass socio-economic, ecological and sustainability requirements, ready for adoption by lower and middle income countries.

This project had the overriding goal of identifying and capturing the user and business requirements for the next version of HDM-4. This includes better understanding the use of HDM-4 by various Road Administrations (RAs), Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs), International Development Agencies, Consultants, Academics, and other stakeholders. In addition, the project also aimed to prepare a Business Plan to highlight operational and strategic issues, to mitigate risk and therefore increase the likelihood of raising the correct amount of funds required to keep HDM-4 going.

Potential impact

The anticipated impact of the business case is to ensure the longevity of HDM-4 for the common good of people and the environment in road infrastructure projects globally.


HDM-4 is a Highway Development and Management (HDM) (version 4) software application which serves as a primary tool for the analysis, planning, management and appraisal of road maintenance, improvements, and investment decisions. It is a decision-making tool for assessing the engineering and economic viability of road infrastructure investments, before a large capital commitment is made.

The market for a redeveloped HDM-4 includes national and regional public bodies as well as private organisations from sometimes developed but mostly developing countries. To continue to offer features that make it competitive within the road investment market, and to allow its continued use for appraisal of investment for the purposes of obtaining Multilateral Development Bank (MDB) funding, it is necessary to develop and greatly improve the capabilities, support, and socio-economic relevance of the application.

The core element of the study was a survey of HDM-4 users in November and December 2022 which had 81 responses from a variety of end user types. Respondents were given the chance to add free-format text to identify ‘other potential improvement areas’ for HDM-4, and to give ‘other comments’ on HDM-4 and as hoped, these proved to be an excellent source of requirements, and were captured and classified, before being added to the global draft requirements.

This extensive analysis examined the current state of the art in HDM-4 and other Road Asset Management Software, their deployment by stakeholders, and the user and business requirements that will shape the next version of HDM-4. By carefully prioritising these requirements and incorporating valuable feedback from validation exercises, it can be ensured that the redeveloped HDM-4 system will effectively address user needs and continue to be a valuable tool in the road transport sector.


By identifying critical and non-critical requirements and organising them into a developmental pathway, this project has established a foundation for defining the Minimal Viable Product (MVP) and the scope for the HDM-4 redevelopment programme. The project reports provide valuable insights and recommendations for the next version of HDM-4. By carefully considering and prioritising user and business requirements, it can be ensured that the redeveloped HDM-4 system will effectively address the needs of its users and remain a valuable tool.