Smart vehicles are not a new concept as the United States has manufacturers that continue to push forward in creating automobiles that can drive itself. Although China is pushing forward with creating their own smart cars, they are pursuing the next phase in the future of autonomous driving; the nation plans on creating an intelligent highway.
The country is working on building highways that will have electric-battery re-chargers, solar panels and mapping sensors embedded within it that could potentially speed up the transformation of the industry involving global transportation.
Building Smart Highways That Will Work with Smart Vehicles
Bloomberg News reported recently about China’s bold move about creating a smart highway that the required technology needs to be embedded underneath concrete, that is transparent, to be used to build a stretch of road that is 1,080-meters-long (3,540-foot-long) in the eastern city of Jinan.
According to Qilu Transportation Development Group Company that will build the highway, roughly 45,000 vehicles travel over this section on a daily basis where the solar panels that will be built inside should be able to generate sufficient electricity to power eight-hundred homes and highway lights.
Yet, the company’s goal is for the highway to function more than simply supply power to the grid; the road needs to be smart enough to match the future vehicles that will be designed. Considering that the government is predicting that ten percent of all automobiles should be able to self-drive fully by 2030, Qilu feels that this presents a great opportunity to build from the ground up technologies such as on-the-go recharging of a vehicle’s electric battery, deliver improved updates on traffic and mapping that will be more accurate.
The company’s general manager, Zhou Yong, said that the highways we have been using can only carry vehicles passing by, and they are like the 1.0-generation product. We’re working on the 2.0 and 3.0 generations by transplanting brains and a nervous system.
The construction is taking place as a result of President Xi Jinping’s government going forward with a plan known as Made in China 2025, which is to transform the nation into an advanced power of manufacturing rather than simply a supplier of toys, sneakers and clothes for exporting. There are ten sectors that are highlighted in the plan, which include robotics, new-energy vehicles and information technology.
Integrating Smart Highways with Superior AI
While the success of smart highways would be a great achievement in technology, China has a separate plan when it comes to the industry of artificial intelligence; their goal is for the nation to become the planet’s main AI innovation center by the year 2030. Achieving this goal requires different parts, which one part of this effort has been named by the government an intelligent transportation system.
Yuan Peng is the deputy head of the transportation ministry’s technology and science department who says that coordinating the development of intelligent-road systems and of autonomous-driving cars is a focus. Yuan said that the ministry will help offer smart roads for the smart cars that are coming.
China is fully committed to creating not just smart highways that will energize the batteries within electric cars but to have the capabilities that will go along with the future development of smart vehicles. This project has nothing to do with if this will ever be finished but when will it finally be completed; according to Zhou, the sooner it is finished the better considering he said that the future of transportation is coming to us much faster than we expected. We need to make sure that roads are evolved to match the development of autonomous-driving vehicles.