According to US daily the Kansas City Star, a Texas-based start-up by the name of Integrated Roadways is developing an intelligent road system which is set to be tested soon in Colorado.
Connectivity technologies which enable data to be sent and received are useful both to traffic infrastructure and the vehicles that use it. With this in mind, a recently-formed company based in Texas called Integrated Roadways has designed Smart Pavement – an intelligent road which includes pressure sensors, cellular routers and fibre optics integrated into concrete blocks.
These blocks are easy to assemble using connection ports and can then be painted based on the requirements of road markings, and are also simple to replace. According to the start-up, these prefabricated objects have a lifespan that is four times longer than the average road surface, according to French website ObjetConnecté.com.
Road can alert emergency services in the event of an accident
For the authorities and managers of traffic infrastructure, the main argument in favour of this kind of system is its ability to alert the emergency services. With its captors that can sense the presence of vehicles in real time, the Integrated Roadways solution could detect accidents and immediately send out an alert. Drivers will also be informed of roadworks ahead of them.
The Colorado department of transport already signed a five-year contract worth 2.75 million US dollars with Integrated Roadways last spring to set up 800 metres of Smart Pavement on US Road 285 near to the village of Fairplay.
Wi-Fi connection integrated into the road
As well as this intelligent road solution, Integrated Roadways has a number of other related projects and is working for example on Wi-Fi for vehicles which would work using routers integrated into the road surface and provide rapid 5G connectivity. They are also looking at creating technology for de-icing the Smart Pavement and induction-based charging stations for electric vehicles.
Another innovative project is a platform which would offer multimedia content to passengers in vehicles as well as personalised suggestions based on their journey (food, service stations, places to visit etc.). While this system would cover the cost of implementing the smart road, it would require user data to be shared with third parties – a concept which would not necessarily meet with general approval.
Tim Sylvester, the founder of Integrated Roadways, reassured the pubic however, telling the Kansas City Star that the company was not looking to harvest data from the owners of the vehicles.
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