When we talk about smart roads, we combine the concepts of smart cities, since these roads can be in our cities, and we should also talk about smart logistics, since the transport of goods is closely linked to the road, either to take them to a port or airport or to the end customer.
These roads are linked to autonomous vehicles, since the degree of intelligence of these roads will make them safer or less safe to drive on. This is why new technologies are being used on these roads, especially the internet of things, sensors, big data, artificial intelligence and wireless connectivity.
In order for this to be carried out, an exhaustive analysis must be carried out before a road becomes intelligent. Within this analysis we can highlight, for example, the use of artificial vision systems combined with geolocation systems installed in vehicles that travel along these stretches of road in order to detect potholes, pavement problems, risks on the verges or the passage of animals or people. These images are analysed and trouble spots can be detected.
On the other hand, there are other less complex systems combining video cameras and GPS, also attached to vehicles and filming everything in their path. This visual information allows a technician to determine the state of the road, road signs, etc. These two concepts are decisive for autonomous vehicles to be among us, as they are equipped with sensors that can recognise road signs and adapt to the speed indicated or alert the traffic of people on the road.
Another important aspect of smarts roads is the counting of vehicles through information obtained from sensors. By means of artificial vision systems, we can verify the number of vehicles passing through the same place and if this is high, send this information directly to the smart panels, without the need for a remote post. In addition, information could be sent about the degree of road adherence due to weather conditions, rain, ice, snow or strong wind.
In addition to the above, there are ways of checking lighting, vehicle speed or verifying correct driving, all to make driving much safer on our roads.