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The Future of Smart Roads: Revolutionizing Transportation

Published: 9th May, 2023
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Arpit Mehar

Content Developer Associate at almaBetter

What are Smart Roads? How is it revolutionizing transportation? Get answers to all the questions through this blog. Read more to get fascinated!

The power of Data Science is impeccable. We have already witnessed several inventions that have changed the world. Now, the development of smart roads with the help of Data Science is yet another milestone in transportation. Smart roads are revolutionizing transportation as they are equipped with Data Analytics, sensors, and communication systems to reduce traffic congestion, enhance safety and improve fuel efficiency. In this blog, we will explore the types of smart roads, the evolution of smart roads, and their benefits.

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What are Smart Roads?

According to Intel, smart roads using IoT technologies can efficiently manage traffic and plan future transportation. The devices used in smart roads include several pieces of equipment, such as speed sensors, IP CCTV cameras, acoustic sensors, smart traffic lights, digital signage, and weather/ condition monitoring systems. Moreover, data from IoT cameras, sensors, and radar can be beneficial in easing traffic congestion, improving road conditions, and reducing pollution.

Types of Smart Road Technologies

With recent developments in smart technologies, several companies and governments are working relentlessly to make the roads safer and driver-friendly. So let’s check out some Smart Road technologies changing how we travel.

a. Solar powered roadways

The solar-powered roadways are embedded with photovoltaic cells within hexagon panels made of tempered glass. The panels are equipped with microprocessors, LEDs, snow-melting heating devices, and inductive charging devices for electric vehicles to juice up while driving. The glass is almost as strong as steel, allowing cars to maintain a grip on the roads and stop safely even while driving at high speed.

b. Smart roads

As mentioned earlier, Smart Roads are specially engineered to provide a better and safer driving experience. These roads are equipped with intelligent features such as sensors to provide road/weather information and WiFi transmitters to provide internet services to drivers for better driving and navigation. These smart roads can also charge electric vehicles.

c. Glow in the dark roads.

While this technology is still in the testing phase, it is one of the most useful and cost-effective technologies. Glow-in-the-dark roads are designed using a photo-luminescent powder that absorbs and reserves daylight. The strip with this technology can last about 8 hours, which is remarkable considering it is still under development.

d. Interactive lights

This technology is very different from the glow-in-the-dark idea. The idea is to use motion-sensing technology and illuminate a particular section of the road when a vehicle approaches and dims out as it passes by. However, this technology is more suitable for roads with less traffic. These interactive lights provide lights only when needed and help save energy when no vehicles are on the road.

Benefits of Smart Roads

Smart roads of the future can help cities and numerous ways. There are a lot of advantages of smart roads. Let’s look at some of the benefits.

a. Reducing congestion

Monitoring vehicles and roads and adjusting traffic lights according to road conditions can help reduce traffic congestion. In addition, by collecting real-time traffic data using computer vision technology, authorities can provide relevant information to the drivers and advice a different route, especially at intersections.

b. Improving safety

Computer vision can help avoid and detect other vehicles, bicycles, and pedestrians. Moreover, smart devices can help by alerting drivers about nearby crashes and criminal activities through real-time data. Furthermore, computer vision, real-time data, and smart devices can also reduce road accidents.

c. Monitoring road conditions

With smart roads, authorities can easily monitor the city and timely repair pavement conditions. In addition, regular repair and maintenance will also help in reducing traffic congestion and preventing accidents.

d. Reducing pollution

Pollution has been a significant problem for several cities due to the increased number of vehicles. Moreover, even idling engines produce a lot of pollution, which can be reduced by smart road technology by optimizing traffic flow to control traffic jams.

e. E-tolling

Another practical smart road project is e-tolling. With digital tolling, authorities can easily control traffic as vehicles won’t have to stop to pay the toll. This is possible through license plate recognition and automatic deduction of the toll charge. In India, we are already witnessing phase one of this technology through FASTag, which is already showing great results in reducing highway traffic.

Conclusion

As we learned about smart road technology, organizations worldwide are already working towards utilizing this technology and leveraging the possibilities offered to create a better world. Therefore, it is safe to say that we will be witnessing widespread smart roads with even better technology in the future.

If you are fascinated by this technology and want to help create a safer and better world, you need to learn more about Data Science and its possibilities. Check out AlmaBetter’s Full Stack Data Science course to learn from industry experts working in MAANG companies.

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