Integrated Roadways Awarded Key Colorado “Smart Highway” Project Utilizing Patented “Smart Pavement” Technology.
Integrated Roadways, a technology startup from Kansas City, Missouri, is revolutionizing America’s highway system beginning with a key partnership with the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) under their RoadX initiative to use next-generation innovations to solve infrastructure challenges.
Integrated Roadways, in conjunction with partners Kiewit Infrastructure Company, Cisco Systems, WSP Global, and Wichita Concrete Pipe, will install one-half-mile of Smart Pavement on US285 near Fairplay, CO to collect data on run-off-the-road (ROTR) accidents and send automatic notices of ROTR accidents to CDOT over a five-year demonstration period. The project features Integrated Roadways’ patented “Smart Pavement” technology, which makes roadways touch-sensitive to vehicle positions. These sophisticated road sensors will be able to tell the difference between a vehicle intentionally pulling over and one haphazardly driving off the road. It can then automatically alert first responders and other personnel to respond to the scene.
The pilot project is Integrated Roadway’s first, and it represents an opportunity to showcase its patented technology and lure other cities and state departments of transportation, according to Integrated Roadways CEO and founder Tim Sylvester.The pilot project on Route 285 is slated to wrap up installation in the fall and will last five years. Eighty-five miles from Denver, Sylvester said the 1/2-mile project is along the state’s most dangerous curve and one of the top five most dangerous in the U.S. The number of people injured or killed along that curve is 10 times the state’s average, he said.
In addition to improving safety, CDOT will also be testing the smart pavement system’s ability to generate new revenue streams by monetizing data generated from the connected roadway and vehicles. The smart pavement system can track such data as vehicle counts, the make and model of vehicles on the road by tracking road depressions, vehicle weights, road quality, vehicle speeds and driver behaviors. Integrated Roadways’ real-time data collection can track the position of vehicles in relation to each other to help traffic engineers better understand traffic patterns, and which in the future could even help support autonomous vehicles.
“Data of this sort can be valuable to a variety of businesses, including retailers, commercial developers and commercial property owners,” says Sylvester. “Retailers, for example, can begin tailoring marketing campaigns to area travelers, and the data also can help commercial property owners determine which businesses to put in a shopping center.”
In addition to the project on Route 285, Integrated Roadways also is doing a proof-of-concept project in Denver, which will be installed over the next 90 days. That project will help the Kansas City startup refine its project on Route 285, and it also will provide data to the city of Denver.
Peter Kozinski, P.E., director of the RoadX Program describes the pilot project this way, “RoadX is all about finding new opportunities and demonstrating – often on a smaller scale – that they work or bring value, so other DOTs have a higher level of confidence that they’re making a solid investment.”
With federal and state funding falling far short of the need for current and future roadway projects, Integrated Roadways’ offering will only become more valuable, because it can help road maintenance pay for itself by creating new revenue streams, he said. And it doesn’t require a tax or toll increase.
“Here in the United States, nearly half of all the roadways need significant investment. There’s not any money for it,” he said. “Over the next couple of years, we see the value of (our data) growing significantly to the point where a project can be financed entirely by the future revenues.”
In addition to its smart technologies, Integrated Roadways’ pavement system lasts two to four times longer than traditional concrete or asphalt highways, and it costs less to maintain.