By 2022 China plans to construct a 161 km long stretch of highway, which will feature 6 lanes and integrated solutions for autonomous driving. In future, electric vehicles will be able to inductively charge while driving on the highway.
The smart highway construction will be set between the cities Hangzhou and Ningbo on time for the 2022 Pan-Asian games in Hangzhou, a major Olympic style competition for Asian countries.
The expressway will be constructed in three layers: a specialized transparent concrete on top, with photovoltaic panels in the middle to generate power, and an insulation layer below. The long-term plans for the road include integrating inductive charging and autonomous driving support.
The project has already been attempted on a small scale, as a 2 km stretch of photovoltaic road was constructed in the Chinese city Jinan, however criminals stole one solar panel, as well as damaging another 7.
The proponents of the new plan further hope to achieve a high average speed on the highway, by utilising cloud-based big data solutions, including traffic surveillance and warning functions, which would improve the existing average by 20-30% up to 120 km/h. “The main idea is to build a comprehensive sensing system that links the driver, the vehicle and the road, providing monitoring and early warnings of hazards to maintain the safety of vehicles,” according to Ren Zhong, deputy director of the provincial department of transportation.