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Technology Roads of the future could harvest energy from cars to power street lights, play music to deter speeding and automatically weigh vehicles as they drive along

13:00  22 january  2020
13:00  22 january  2020 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

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Roads with smart street lights . ' Future roads will be made intelligent, sign free, safer, and communicative. They will not only support the mobility of Some use sunlight in a similar way to solar panels, while others use mechanical vibrations produced by vehicles as they transverse the road to

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a car driving on a city street filled with lots of traffic: A number of countries across the world - including China and Japan - are working on creating intelligent city spaces including smart roads© Provided by Daily Mail A number of countries across the world - including China and Japan - are working on creating intelligent city spaces including smart roads Roads of the future could harvest energy from cars to power street lights, detect speeding or erratic driving, and automatically weigh vehicles as they drive along.

An international team of researchers from the USA, Taiwan and Spain have created a list of ten technological advances that could feature on future roads.

They examined technologies already being developed such as charging lanes in Sweden and local networks that automatically warn cars of upcoming hazards.

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But future systems could automatically take over braking or steering if they sensed an imminent In this way, the side airbag would absorb some of the energy of the collision before the vehicle 's At last, the future is now. Hydrogen fuel cell- powered automobiles, a form of transportation that was

Roads are no longer merely a physical entity or solid ground, but somewhere for communication, sensing and power generation, the team claims.

Other uses they considered included the harvesting of sunlight, playing music to warn of hazards and powering fleets of electric heavy goods vehicles. '

'This review shows they are not just theoretical but are currently being deployed across the world', says lead author Chai Toh.

'These advances will aid in the progress, development, and realization of smart transport for future smart cities.

WHAT ARE THE TEN SMART ROAD TECHNOLOGIES?

The paper discusses ten advances and developments in the area of smart roads.

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They include

'Future roads will be made intelligent, sign free, safer, and communicative. They will not only support the mobility of people and things but also generate electricity, feeding energy back to the energy grid.'

There will be more advances in future as new technologies emerge, but Toh says this is a list of the most likely technologies to develop in the near future.

The list of ten technologies includes those already either in development or at the planning stage.

That includes moves to power London streetlights with energy harnessed by cars driving along the road.

'Ultimately, smart cities will progress towards the goal of attaining near-zero fatality and CO2 emissions, transforming our lives for the better,' Toh said.

It isn't just London and Sweden working towards smart roads, or even whole smart cities.

A number of countries across the world - including China and Japan - are working on creating intelligent spaces.

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China alone has over 300 smart city projects, with strong participation by industries and government offices.

India is also investing heavily to build over 100 smart cities across the country.

'Technologies have continued to impact society over the years, improving our standard of living and quality of lives,' said Toh.

'Advances in telecommunications, Internet of Things, cloud and edge computing, scalable storage, and data analytics have made fast computing, data empowered insights, connected mobility and anytime communications possible.'

With added capability from a fusion of emerging technologies, many countries have now introduced national projects related to smart cities in order to transform lives, enhance business operations and market competitiveness, he said.

A key component of a smart city is transportation, and as companies focus on smart and driverless vehicles, Toh and his team are examining the surfaces they drive on.

Current traffic problems facing society today include traffic james, pollution, fuel costs, insurance costs and fuel scarcity, according to the team behind the study.

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The increase in population in cities and in the number of cars, bicycles, motorbikes and road users have added to the risk of accidents and traffic congestion.

a view of a city street: Smart roads will be an indispensable part of smart transport for future smart cities, the team said in their report© Provided by Daily Mail Smart roads will be an indispensable part of smart transport for future smart cities, the team said in their report

Various transportation-related technologies have evolved since the mid-1990s, covering an spectrum of areas from communication to energy.

'In the future of smart transport is about intelligent signs and roads,' Toh said.

'In fact, we are entering the era where the information superhighway meets the transportation highway.

'Roads will be ‘empowered’ with info-communications, intelligence and sensing capability that were never possible decades ago.'

Smart roads will be an indispensable part of smart transport for future smart cities, the team said in their report.

'In a period of over two decades, we have witnessed the progress and developments of various technologies that have helped the development of smart roads'.

In future they say smart roads will bring about greater automation, higher energy efficiency, lower cost, improved public safety, cleaner air, fewer accidents and fatalities, and hence improving overall quality of lives for city residents.

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Roads will no longer be viewed as static infrastructures but rather an ‘intelligent grid’, fully aware of the situation, context and the environment, the team claim.

The main areas of development in road technology include:

Roads that harvest energy

There are several methods to harvest energy from roads, according to the research team behind this study.

Some use sunlight in a similar way to solar panels, while others use mechanical vibrations produced by vehicles as they transverse the road to generate energy.

Roads that produce music

Musical roads are roads that can produce music or tunes when cars drive passed them and can be used to indicate that someone is going the speed limit.

They use grooves or rumble strips, which are spaced at specific intervals on the road surface and depending on the spacing, as cars move over them it generates high or low notes and in turn - music.

Roads that automatically weight your car

a sign on the side of a road: Smart roads can monitor the weight of trucks by having stopping points for static weighing, or weigh-in motion giving a tonnage as the driver moves along the lanes© Provided by Daily Mail Smart roads can monitor the weight of trucks by having stopping points for static weighing, or weigh-in motion giving a tonnage as the driver moves along the lanes

Roads are not only used for transporting people but also heavily used for transportation of goods and trucks need to be weighed regularly.

Smart roads can monitor the weight of trucks by having stopping points for static weighing, or weigh-in motion giving a tonnage as the driver moves along the lanes.

Roads that automatically charge your vehicle

Some cities have suggested the use of specially assigned charging lanes for autonomous electric trucks so they can charge as they drive.

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Roads with smart wireless digital traffic signs

The idea of a wireless digital traffic sign is to broadcast to on-coming traffic any changes or issues, as well as the speed limit.

A receiver unit residing in the car will then pick up the wireless signs signal and alert the driver about it - either out loud or on a display in the car.

Roads with traffic violation detection

Traditional methods of detecting traffic violations are done through pre-installed cameras and speed radar detectors with white line markings on the roads.

hese methods are less effective under rain, snow and fog conditions but new solutions involve using a wireless digital traffic sign or even drones above the road.

Roads with V2X - cars that talk

a view of a car: 'It is important because it allows cars and objects to communicate and exchange crucial information, be it position, identity, state of physical presence or speed information,' the researchers said© Provided by Daily Mail 'It is important because it allows cars and objects to communicate and exchange crucial information, be it position, identity, state of physical presence or speed information,' the researchers said

V2X is a technology that involves the car communicating automatically with things around it - in this case the road, signs or even emergency services.

'It is important because it allows cars and objects to communicate and exchange crucial information, be it position, identity, state of physical presence or speed information,' the researchers said.

Roads with smart intersections

Cooperative intersection safety is a European project looking at issues of pedestrian safety at these intersections and junctions.

The project uses sensors for vehicle and object detection, along with V2I, mapping and localisation technologies to reduce fatal collisions and enhance safety.

Roads with smart street lights

a close up of text on a black background: Other uses could see them act as WiFi relay stations, weather stations, seismic sensors and even speakers to allow emergency warnings to be broadcast© Provided by Daily Mail Other uses could see them act as WiFi relay stations, weather stations, seismic sensors and even speakers to allow emergency warnings to be broadcast

Street lights are already able to turn on and off based on light detected outside and some are used to monitor pollution - but in future they could also be powered by energy harnessed by the road.

Other uses could see them act as WiFi relay stations, weather stations, seismic sensors and even speakers to allow emergency warnings to be broadcast.

The research has been published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society A.

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