Smart Roads: Moving Forward Faster
Howdy! My name is Ben Klophaus and I am a Freshman Business Finance major at Texas A&M University. Since the beginning of October, I have been working with JBKnowledge, Inc. So far, I have LOVED it! Working at JBKnowledge, Inc. has given me some great insight on improvements and innovations in technology development. More importantly, it has helped me discover “smart” technology, a.k.a. technology that works with the person, instead of as a simple tool. As shown in every product of JBKnowledge, this principle guides and progresses along with new technological improvements.
Yet people still say, “Well if technology has improved so much, why does it still takes me 30 minutes to get to Starbucks for my Pumpkin Spice Latte?”
Many factors go into resurfacing a road. Most people think that all it requires is a bit of concrete and tar, yet so many other variables play into the process. Just like a house, if the foundation of a road is cracked, crumbling or damaged, the whole thing can fall apart. So the question is, “How can we fix it?” New sensors and detectors are helping to provide a complete diagnosis of problems that occur on road systems and streamline the reconstruction process. These sensors and detectors built into roads make them “smart roads.” Innovations implemented by engineers and transportation officials are working to change the face of transportation and infrastructure construction. Basically that means hopefully less traffic jams and more Pumpkin Spice Lattes for everyone.
These intelligent traffic systems, or “smart roads,” will not only help speed up road construction, but also help monitor traffic conditions and health of the infrastructure. The data collected by the sensors can show where and why any deterioration occurred. This takes out many steps in the reconstruction process. Whether it is the steel, the concrete, the pillars or the ground, these sensors can identify the problem and relay the information back to the builders which allows them to start the process of reconstruction. Like a chain reaction, drivers can then get places quicker with less traffic stopping them from enjoying their day.
Now, the only step left is to implement this technology solution, but with the next generation of transportation being unknown, investors are hesitant to put their hard-earned money into a new system. Although budget is a major contributing factor, these smart roads can lead to an expedited recovery time of the infrastructure, reducing costs in the long run. As the technology becomes more developed, the cost of implementation will be overshadowed by the value of the solution’s benefits. I can’t wait to see what other technological advancements are coming to the future of road construction!