Smart Highways Detailed
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Since EVs are becoming increasingly popular, while their batteries are still much too weak to assure an anxiety-free drive on the highway, the induction charging (wireless) will begin to be incorporated into one of the lanes, so that these all-electric cars will be able to drive on the highway without using their on-board batteries at all, as they will get their juice straight from underneath the road surface. The idea of inductive charging is simple, and various companies and universities are testing the system now, in view of future mass implementation.
The introduction of such lanes on major highways would reduce the strain on the automakers to come up with increasingly powerful (and expensive) battery technologies, allowing them to even shrink the size of the battery packs used, making the cars lighter and more efficient in the process. It would open up a whole new realm of possibilities for both drivers and automakers - it would really be a win-win situation.
As a car approaches, the sensors detect it, and dimly light up the furthest visible point, then as a car approaches the given point, the lights are turned on to maximum power, and the next light is turned on, while the one the car has just passed gets dimmed down, and so on. It is such a beautifully-simple idea and it could be done even without the use of actual advanced technology.
This system could be correlated with what is called ‘wind light’, which would involve some sort of small wind turbines and generators, placed alongside the road surface, which aside from being powered by the actual wind, would also create electricity under the influence of the draught created by speeding passing cars. All of that ‘artificial wind’ is wasted, yet it is sufficiently powerful to make a highway self-sufficient, as well as power auxiliary buildings such as service stations and, of course, the illumination.
So, the idea of using special paints on the road surface, which light up under certain atmospheric conditions (snow, ice or just very low temperatures) would be much more useful and accurate, in letting drivers know where dangerous spots may be. Such techniques could be used to great effect on highways, as some portions of highway may be OK to be driven on at the legal limit, while others may not be - all in the space of a few hundreds of meters.
In areas where highways intertwine into huge networks of highways, and congestion is a problem, traffic density monitoring sensors could very efficiently re-route traffic onto less congested roads, in real time, and with no need for an actual human to do the work. Drivers could get this information either via their onboard sat-nav units, or screens placed at specific locations, where going on an alternate route is still an option. The same system could also warn drivers of accidents or roadworks.
The only real downside to all of this is the fact that everything will become more complicated, and it seems that no matter how much we try to make our technology 100% safe, a glitch or error always seems to find its way into ‘the system’, somehow. The first of these systems to be implemented may fail at times, but the more there are, the better and more reliable they will be, and the cheaper they will be, thus allowing more roads to benefit from their use.
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