PARK COUNTY, Colo. — The company that is designing “smart pavement” along a half-mile section of U.S. Route 285 has released more information on exactly what the technology can do.
WSP USA said that the smart pavement technology will be able to tell where cars are on the highway, which direction they’re headed and how fast they’re moving. The company is working alongside the Colorado Department of Transportation to implement this new technology, which was developed by Integrated Roadways to increase safety and boost vehicle connectivity, according to a press release.
WSP is designing a half-mile pilot section of smart pavement on U.S. 285, just north of Fairplay. The otherwise relatively straight road has one tight curve around Red Hill Pass, and several cars have run off the road there.
Smart pavement is precast concrete pavement slabs embedded with upgradable technology, according to the release. Sensors can alert authorities if a car leaves the lanes at a speed and trajectory that would likely mean it completely left the road.
“Smart pavement is the next-generation in road construction,” said Tim Sylvester, founder of Integrated Roadways. “By treating the roadway as a series of concrete sensor pads connected to a digital network, we can improve safety, collect real-time traffic data, record daily, seasonal, and annual traffic patterns, and support the deployment of connected and autonomous vehicles, among other things. Because the roadway can generate revenue from data and connectivity services, smart pavement holds the potential of using private investments to improve public infrastructure without implementing tolls.”
Pending the results from a smaller installation on a Denver roadway, the smart pavement installation on U.S. 285 could begin next spring 2019.