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Colorado Prepares to Install 'Smart Road' Product by Integrated Roadways


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Examining the road bed prior to installing sensor-laden concrete.

A startup plans to install four slabs of concrete with embedded sensors at an intersection in Denver, CO. The sensor package can infer the speed, weight, and direction of a vehicle, so it can notify authorities of accidents or prompt officials to adjust lanes to ameliorate congestion.

Credit: Integrated Roadways

The startup Integrated Roadways plans to install four slabs of concrete with embedded sensors at an intersection in Denver, CO, as part of a pilot program with the Colorado Department of Transportation (DOT).

The sensor package can infer the speed, weight, and direction of a vehicle, so it can notify authorities of accidents or prompt officials to adjust lanes to ameliorate congestion.

The array includes an accelerometer that measures vibrations to predict a vehicle's path of arrival, a sensing fiber-optic cable to gauge strain in the pavement, and a magnetometer to quantify the width of a car's axle to determine the type of vehicle driving overhead. The sensors ascertain vehicle position, size, speed, and trajectory in real time while a gyroscope notes the slab's position to determine whether the road has shifted out of place.

Said Brendan Morris of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, “I think that’s kind of the Holy Grail [for smart roads]: to figure out how you can reduce the time to discovery or recognition of an incident.”

From IEEE Spectrum
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