An 18-mile stretch of Georgia interstate is pushing the technological envelope with respect to safety and sustainability in road construction. By leveraging solar energy, recycled tires, vehicle telematics data and valuable roadside right-of-way, The Ray Project is showcasing how America’s highways can be transformed into more ecologically beneficial, revenue-generating infrastructure.
“The goal that guides us is to use technologies that exist today to reduce carbon emissions and get to zero in terms of traffic fatalities,” says Allie Kelly, Executive Director of The Ray Project. “We believe the technologies exist and are evolving rapidly to allow that to happen. We are also working with the government to diversify funding sources for transportation.”
Laying the groundwork for safer, digitally connected roads
The Ray Project is a non-profit organization that works in close collaboration with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Georgia DOT. Together they are committed to building a “Smart Highway” that is safer and more efficient. “Projections show that connected and autonomous vehicles could help reduce crashes by 40% or more,” says Kelly. “But we can’t take advantage of these safety benefits unless we build a modernized infrastructure that enables the operation of these types of vehicles.”
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