With constantly growing traffic and rapid technological advancements, the vision of building smarter roads is becoming more and more realistic. Futuristic infrastructure is a promising solution to the problem of congestion and pollution related to cars and their emissions. But what exactly makes a road “smart”?
Smart highways are stretches of road where advanced technologies are applied to increase the infrastructure’s efficiency and sustainability. Some of the upgrades include dynamic shoulders, flexible speed limits, monitoring sensors, and cameras. Even though some of the enhancements are already implemented and working well, most are still being improved with technologies such as drones, LED road studs, and built-in sensors.
Sustainable roads to support sustainable cars
However, for the future, smart highways may not be enough. We need our roads to be sustainable to support our ever more sustainable cars. This can be achieved through using technologies such as solar panels or piezoelectric energy harvesting.
Only time will tell if these technologies will be used in the future. For now, we have to make do with the limited options we have available, and hope that one day we won’t need to charge our cars at home as they’ll be powered while driving down the highway.
Editor’s note: You can read Kirkland’s full article about smart roadways here.