Guest post by: Giles Kirkland
The growing popularity of electric vehicles sheds positive light on making future transportation more sustainable. However, in today’s world, the number of cars is rapidly increasing, traffic congestion is becoming more and more difficult to control, and harmful emissions are still emitted by vehicles beyond the acceptable limits.
The global scale of such growing concerns points to the need for further-reaching changes than slow steps towards reducing the use of fossil fuel. Once plug-in vehicles become more viable and the consumers’ awareness rises, we will also need a greener infrastructure.
Rapidly developing technology is, or will soon be able to help building a new generation environmentally-friendly infrastructure. The term ‘smart roads’ is not a novelty but some time ago it was rather a vague futuristic concept. Now it gets a real chance to be implemented as a support to sustainable cars, to help the environment and increase road safety.
Some smart solutions have already been introduced into motorway networks in the USA, Europe, China and Japan. The most promising sustainable road improvements include placing charging panels along the road surface and equipping “green” lanes with inductive charging systems. More advanced projects are tested or planned for the future, for instance piezoelectric energy harvesting systems and solar roadways where standard tarmac is replaced with special solar panels.
The infographic below explains the details of these innovations: