The Colorado Department of Transportation has awarded a $2.75 million contract to a Kansas City company called Integrated Roadways (www.integratedroadways.com) for a pilot “smart pavement” project. It will be installed on a half-mile stretch of U.S. 285 near Fairplay, Colorado south of Breckenridge. Integrated Roadways is partnering with Kiewit Infrastructure Co., Cisco Systems, WSP Global and Wichita Concrete Pipe for the pilot project. This is being developed along with 5G as part of the nationwide infrastructure for driverless cars.
Each interlocking slab of smart pavement will contain fiber optic mesh configured similar to a touch screen computer. The pavement will sense the instantaneous position, weight, and velocity of every vehicle on the road. Each slab will also contain antennas under the pavement that will send the data wirelessly to your car. The smart pavement is supposed to pay for itself by selling apps that also deliver data from the road to the car’s occupants. “Imagine travel, dining, lodging and other services being delivered à la carte to individual drivers on demand,” touts Integrated Roadway on its website.
The road itself, says the company, “will become the next Information Super Highway.” “Once cars do become autonomous, smart pavement unleashes the possibilities of what you can do in the car instead of driving,” said a May 21, 2018 article in the Kansas City Star. “For some, that might be working, while for others, it might be gaming or streaming movies. It could essentially turn your car into a mobile living room.”