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  • [ ♪INTRO ]

  • Technology infuses nearly everything these days. We have smart refrigerators, smart watches,

  • smart glassesIt might not seem like we need any more smart stuff.

  • But some of these technologies can be really useful, and that's especially true when

  • it comes to smart roads.

  • Really. There's a traffic jam of ideas in the pipeline to make infrastructure more intelligent,

  • and to help roads do everything from repair themselves to save lives.

  • Here are three emerging technologies that give new meaning to the termstreet smart.”

  • First, some companies are working on roads that can prevent accidents and help drivers

  • who have been in a crash.

  • There are a few ways to do this, and some of them are being tested in Colorado.

  • One strategy is being tested by a company called Integrated Roadways.

  • In 2018, they announced that Colorado's Department of Transportation had granted them

  • a contract to install Smart Pavement on a roughly 1km stretch of Highway 285.

  • Smart Pavement is a system of concrete slabs embedded with digital technology and fiber-optic mesh.

  • These fibers detect the position, speed, and weight of vehicles.

  • And once it's installed, a computer communicating with the highway will be able to calculate

  • if a car crashed, skidded off the road, or just pulled aside to take a photo of the landscape.

  • If there's been an accident, or if a car veered off the highway, routers inside the

  • road will be able to alert emergency services to rush to the scene.

  • Integrated Roadways has already piloted this pavement on a section of road in Denver, and

  • it's currently collecting information on about 7500 vehicles per day.

  • So if their new, roughly 1km test goes well, this kind of technology could start popping

  • up all over the place.

  • It is worth noting, though, that Smart Pavement isn't the only way to make a safer road.

  • There's also a system called V2X, which is short forvehicle to everything.”

  • It's short-range wireless technology that allows vehicles to communicate with each other

  • and with objects like stoplights and guardrails.

  • If the network of objects senses something like a bunch of vehicles decelerating, it

  • can send an audio or visual message to the display screens on nearby cars, warning drivers

  • to proceed with caution.

  • For this system to be effective, both the objects and the vehicles need to have V2X

  • capability. But some new cars already have this installed, and other brands plan to add

  • it to their future models.

  • Colorado is also testing out this system, and their first stretch of road with this

  • tech is expected to be completed in 2021.

  • According to one consulting firm working with the state's Department of Transportation,

  • this tech could make a big impact, too.

  • They say that, if it were implemented throughout Colorado, it could lead to more than 85,000

  • fewer car accidents and 300 fewer deaths over 20 years.

  • Now, traffic is bad, but potholes can be a real pain, too. They're not fun to drive

  • over, and the really bad ones can even damage vehicles.

  • So in 2010, scientists in the Netherlands tested a potential solution: build roads that

  • can almost fix themselves.

  • To do this, they started with a type of pervious asphalt commonly used in the Netherlands,

  • which is made of stones held together with as little bitumen as possible.

  • Bitumen is a sticky black binder. This kind of asphalt is great for various reasons, but

  • by itself, it still gets cracks and potholes. They happen when the bitumen shrinks and detaches

  • from the stones it's holding onto.

  • So next, the researchers mixed in tiny pieces of steel woolthe kind you might use to

  • scour burned hamburger off your pans.

  • They took this mixture and used it to pave a section of road. Then, in 2014, after letting

  • it sit for a while, they drove an induction machine over it.

  • The machine created an oscillating magnetic field, which induced an electric current in

  • the conductive steel wool.

  • The electricity heated the steel and melted the bitumen between the stones, and that repaired

  • cracks that might have eventually caused potholes.

  • The scientists say that running the induction machine over steel-filled asphalt every 4

  • years can double the lifespan of the roadtaking it from 8 to10 years to 16 to 20.

  • The Netherlands has already used this technology on a dozen other roads, too.

  • And according to one of the scientists, that's not all this tech can do. It may also be possible

  • to send energy through steel in the pavement, so electric vehicles could charge while at a stoplight.

  • That technology is in the early stages, but car-charging roads are already rolling out elsewhere.

  • In 2018, the world's first electrified road for charging cars debuted in Sweden. And the

  • way it works is pretty straightforward.

  • #For this road, engineers laid down about 2 kilometers of track in the center of the

  • road, similar to the kind you see on light rail.

  • When you drive your electric vehicle on it, an arm attached to the bottom of the vehicle

  • reaches down and connects to the track. Then, as you drive, the road charges your battery!

  • If you switch lanes, the arm will disconnect, and if you stop, the current will, too.

  • This system is set up so that the electricity itself is on a separate rail about 5 centimeters

  • below the surface, and so that it only flows when a car is attached to that section of the road.

  • That way, people can cross the street without getting electrocuted. Which is always nice.

  • Still, even if the whole area flooded with water or something, the organization behind

  • the project says the current isn't enough to hurt pedestrians.

  • Now, Sweden is thinking of applying this idea to the 20,000 kilometers of highways throughout the country.

  • But again, this method isn't the only way to do this.

  • Other companies are testing wireless charging roads.

  • For example, an Israeli company called Electreon has successfully created a driving track studded

  • with copper coils that are connected to the electrical grid.

  • When an electric vehicle outfitted with copper plates passes over them, the interaction between

  • the two electromagnetic fields generates power to charge the vehicle.

  • In 2019, the company announced it would install this technology on a public road in Sweden.

  • And France, the U.K., and South Korea are also testing similar tech.

  • One of the biggest concerns people have about electric vehicles is that there aren't enough

  • places to charge their batteries. But if roads themselves charged cars, that barrier would

  • basically disappear.

  • So while smart roads may seem unnecessary at first, they could eventually transform

  • the way we drive.

  • They could potentially reduce or eliminate the need for gasoline-powered cars and gas

  • stations. They could reduce the need for frequent road repairs. And they could even save our lives.

  • Thanks for watching this episode of SciShow! And special thanks to our patrons on Patreon.

  • We say it a lot, but your support really does mean a lot to us, and we couldn't make this

  • show without you.

  • If you want to become a patron and learn how to keep SciShow going, you can go to patreon.com/scishow.

  • [ ♪OUTRO ]

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スマートロードが運転の未来を変えるかもしれない (These Smart Roads Could Change the Future of Driving)

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    林宜悉 に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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