Kansas City, MO has confirmed two projects that will incorporate sensors and internet connectivity into roads.  They hope to build a combined 1.5 miles of this “Smart Road” in order to monitor traffic and road maintenance needs. The project should be completed by August 2018.

Smart roads are an emerging technology that is growing, coupled with CAVs (Connected and Autonomous Vehicles). The can do things like harness solar energy, illuminated themselves with LEDs, and even wirelessly connect to phones, cars, and the internet. As wireless technology improves, these types of roads are bound to show themselves more and more. Aside from that, CAVs like self driving cars are likely going to push this technology into the forefront. Both of these technologies are still emerging, but they show a very promising future for roads and highways.

According to Mary Tyler March, author at construction dive, governmental interest in these technologies are growing fast due to hopes that they will allow the state to better monitor infrastructure. She says, “Key Market Insights projects the global smart-highway market to more than double from $14.25 billion in 2015 to $32.81 billion through 2020.

She continues, “In Florida, a new test track under construction will experiment with high-speed tolling technology and vehicle-to-infrastructure and vehicle-to-vehicle communication with the goal of increasing efficiency and speed for those traveling the Florida Turnpike.”

As a commercial contractor, we could foresee potential ways to integrate such technology into our commercial restaurant and retail construction projects. Although there are no current plans to make that integration, due to how few smart roads exist today, it is something we think is important to keep our eye on. Here at W.L. Decker we are always looking forward to find smart solutions to everyday commercial construction issues, to get your project done one time and under budget.

You can read more of the article by Construction Dive here.