Brief 

Solar panels and sensors embedded in roads are being tested in Georgia and New York as next-gen transportation technology. The solar panels will be able to power an electric car charging port, while the sensors can collect and process data in real time.

 

Insight

Two projects in Georgia and New York are exploring new technologies which embed power generation, computing and more into paving, opening up this right-of-way space to accommodate solar panels and smart city sensors.

These days, road and sidewalk surfaces can accommodate much more than driving or walking. New technologies are using these surfaces to embed power generation, communication and other capabilities.The Curiosity Lab in Peachtree Corners, Ga., a site for testing next-gen transportation technologies, is placing solar power panels into a roadway. The panels will generate the electricity to power an electric car charging port.

And in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., Uncharted Power is installing its “smart” pavers in a small section of sidewalks and streets. The pavers are embedded with electricity and computing technology to serve as sensors or communication capabilities to create “uniform, modular bridging,” said Jessica O. Matthews, CEO of Uncharted Power.

“Each one of those pavers essentially doubles as a nano-data center. And when they’re installed, it becomes a mesh network of data centers that provides edge cloud services, so that you’re not only collecting this data in real time, you’re also processing and managing this data in real time using the infrastructure in the panels themselves,” Matthews explained, speaking with Government Technology in late October.

 

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