Smart roads are like the silent partners of the autonomous vehicles, and to bring improvement within this smart infrastructure wouldn’t just help in navigating roads by the AVs better but would also make it safer. It would also help in enhancing the complete performance of the transportation system.
AVs have been considered a safer option than the vehicles that are human-driven, as most of the accidents happen because of the human error. However, before the AVs become market ready, the technology advances, they still need a lot of improvement, especially within the ability of the vehicle for seeing the obstacles around and anticipating vehicle or pedestrian movement.
Now, this is important, but there have been some arguments coming around that, just as much as the improvement within vehicles is important, so is there a requirement to have improved within the smart roads. The focus now must go beyond the AV tech, including the upgradation of the infrastructure of the road. Even though there are many AV manufacturers who do not rely upon the smart roads, the development of it, still remains to be important role player within the AV adoption and much more.
Smart Roads- What are these?
Smart Roads within the cities mean the tech that’s capable of gathering the data using the Internet of Things for managing the traffic or even planning the better and much more capable future transportation.
Such devices, they include the acoustic sensors, smart traffic lights, speed sensors, IP CCTV cameras, digital signage, condition, and weather monitoring system, etc. All such data collected through the IoT sensors, radar, and the cameras, they can get used in the real time for easing the traffic flow, and also, the data can get used for the reduction of pollution or improvement of the condition of the road.
In simple terms, the smart roads use the tech which can provide the birds eye view for the AVs at the busiest intersections of the cities.
Smart Roads- Benefits
- It will help in the reduction of congestion by monitoring the movement of the vehicle and adjustment of the traffic lights.
- Improvement in safety by computer vision is able to detect as well as avoid the other vehicles, bicyclists, and the pedestrians. The smart devices would also be able to alert the 1st responders in case if there is any criminal activity or crash.
- Charging the toll fees on the highways and bridges with just recognition of the license plates. It will also help in reduction of the congestion and will allow the traffic to keep moving.
- Detecting as well as avoiding the problem areas based on the analytics. It will also help to mitigate the measures for signage, signals, or even the changes within the speed limit.
- Monitoring the road conditions and the repair pavement conditions promptly.
- Reduction of pollution by optimizing traffic flow for preventing such traffic jams.
- The traffic sign, which is wireless and digital, it will not get affected because of the weather or the lighting conditions.
- It will bring adaptability and feasibility for changing the road situation as well as bring in some urban constructions.
Smart Roads- Related Technologies
There are, in general, 4 technologies that remain associated with the implementation of the advanced smart road. They are,
- Electric Charging Lanes
The communities have been working for integrating a lot of non-polluting EVs. Apart from it, they are also trying to install the charging stations, the electric charging lanes that can power many vehicles while the same remains in motion.
- Solar Road Paint
The solar paint installation will be a great help for collecting the energy during the day and then glowing the lines at night to increase safety and visibility.
- Smart Pavements
To have the fiber optic sensors that are of high resolution, along with the other techs that remain inside the pavement, will help to detect the vehicles, the gauge the conditions of the road, identify accidents, and also notify the emergency responders on their own.
- Honking Roads
With the help of the SmartLife Poles on, any such tech provided at the hairpin bends or the sharp curves will be a great help. Further, with the poles acting as the advanced networked device, which can detect the vehicle’s speed and sound the horn for alerting about the incoming vehicles, will help achieve a lot.
Smart Road Technologies- Examples
The smart roads remain reliable upon the combination of varied individual tech advances for making it all possible that’s provided within the examples,
- Roads that can harvest the energy.
- Weighing the passing trucks automatically.
- Electrified roads which can charge the EV automatically.
- Roads that have the smart and wireless digital traffic signs.
- Roads have the smart traffic citation, violation detection, and notifications.
Smart Roads/Infrastructure Pilots
All around the world, the startups and the established companies, they pilot the smart road techs. There are some amazing projects by the startups which we have given a brief of below. Give a read-ahead to know about it.
It is used for capturing the traffic and the information about the road with the help of the bird’s eye view tech. The intersection control unit of the Latvian Startup communicates with the infrastructure and the vehicles. It can even detect the red-light violation and the speeding vehicles.
The give tech offers the traffic management platform using the data through the sensors and the connected vehicles. With the help of the data-driven insights that are provided here, the roads are assured of the reduced accidents by bringing in improvement within the traffic flow.
The AI tech in here tracks the traffic signals, the condition of roads, the construction activity, and the road signs. The software even detects the road bumps and the signage, while helping to create the digital map for traffic analysis simultaneously.
This tech works along with the local government for the development of smart road tech. The startup from Canada uses the radio spectrum for enabling the V2V, V2I, and the V2X communications. It also assures to provide the traffic signal, the smart lane traffic management for the AVs, and the other technology related to the smart road.
- RoadSense Advanced Technologies
The startup provides the IoT sensors for the smart roads. Such sensors collect the data that ranges from the traffic pattern and the vehicle count to the driving hazards and the behaviors.
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Considering the examples that have been said above, the tech that’s emerging, it carries a lot of potential for the coming years to revolutionize the road transport by bringing in much more personal services for the road users and also for the private or the commercial.
The smart roads bring in a lot of automation, energy efficiency, improved safety for the public, lower cost, a green environment, lesser fatalities, and a lot fewer accidents. So, supporting the presence of the Smart Roads would be a great choice. With the startups coming up, a lot more changes will come in, and this will surely create a better tomorrow.