As digital infrastructure becomes a mission critical function, transportation authorities will need to enhance the capacities of their data management and communications networks. This is a significant risk for many agencies who have not yet prepared to cope with the accompanying requirements, like data sharing agreements, privacy policies, and IT/network security.
How much do we expect roadside infrastructure to change? The answer will vary depending on region and other unique factors in every organization. It is certain, however, that the introduction of technologies aimed at improving safety and efficiency will be an ongoing process.
This is not the beginning of technology integrating into infrastructure. Since the early 2000s, for example, de-icing systems have been incorporated into bridges. In Minnesota, an automated anti-icing treatment strategy “significantly improved roadway safety and resulted in a 68% decline in winter car crashes.” Installing the bridge anti-icing system also improved productivity by lowering material costs and enhancing winter maintenance operations throughout the district.
Whether talking about conductive concrete or other systems, technology is already available to help improve safety and enhance the efficiency of infrastructure management.
“You have to be careful; you don’t want to waste your money by investing in a technology that will not, in the end, be useful in the future. That is why it is important to stay informed and start collecting data,” adds Gianluca Barletta.
The deployment of automated and connected vehicles provides an opportunity to adapt our infrastructure to a connected world. In doing so, however, we need to ensure that they also contribute to building a more resilient world.