THE INTELLIGENT HIGHWAYS OF TOMORROW
By the time Tfn’s 30-year plan reaches maturity, the roads we drive on could be radically different. Here are three innovations that are currently being assessed.
Could increase the life of a road by up to 16 years. Works by incorporating capsules of oil in the Tarmac layer. When a crack appears, the capsules release oil, sticking the crack back together. Called Capheal, the system was invented by the University of Nottingham.
Electric induction coils are buried at regular intervals under the road surface (pictured). An EV equipped with an induction pad can generate enough charge by an impulse of energy as it passes over the coil to keep its battery topped up. The tech will be ready for use in between five and seven years.
Fibre-optic cables in the road surface operate as ‘listening’ stations to detect passing traffic by monitoring the vibrations as vehicles cross the cables. Vehicles can be identified by the unique vibrations they create according to speed and weight. The system could provide warnings of obstructions in remote areas, where other technologies might not work.