WSP designs 'smart pavement' roadway in Colorado
WSP USA is contributing design to a Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) project that implements a new road technology with sensors that can tell where cars are, what direction they are moving, and how fast they are going. The “smart pavement” technology developed by Integrated Roadways will increase safety and boost vehicle connectivity.
WSP will design a half-mile pilot section of smart pavement on U.S. 285 north of Fairplay in Colorado. That area of the roadway has a reverse curve at the end of a long straightaway and was the location of run-off-the-road accidents. It is on those curves where the pavement technology will be installed to improve driver safety.
“This is an exciting opportunity to introduce a game-changing highway technology that will improve the safety of motorists in Colorado,” said Tim Harris, Client Relations Manager at WSP USA, a consultant in innovative mobility services. “CDOT is very interested in using new technologies, and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to collaborate with them on this implementation.”
Developed by Integrated Roadways, a company based in Kansas City, MO, “smart pavement” is precast concrete pavement slabs embedded with upgradable technology. The sensors allow the pavement to alert authorities if a vehicle has exited the driving lane at a speed and trajectory that indicate the vehicle has left the road. Future versions will incorporate wireless services to communicate real-time vehicle position information directly to vehicles.
“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 results of a smaller proof-of-concept installation on a Denver roadway, construction on U.S. 285 could begin in spring 2019.