Chinese company testing 1,080-meter-long ‘intelligent highway’ in Jinan city
In a notable move which can potentially accelerate the transformation of the global transportation industry, China is testing an ‘intelligent highway’ built by Qilu Transportation Development Group Co. The intelligent highway test project will check viability of highway that can generate electricity with solar panels and charge electric vehicles in future.
The ‘intelligent highway’ is basically a ‘smart road’ built in eastern-China city of Jinan. The length of the road is 1,080 meters; and it is built with transparent concrete which comprises of technologies -- solar panels, mapping sensors and electric-battery rechargers -- embedded underneath.
According to the details shared by Qilu Transportation, the ‘intelligent highway’ stretch of road caters to traffic of 45,000 vehicles every day. The solar panels embedded inside the road are spread across two lanes, and can generate electricity sufficient for powering the highway lights as well as 800 homes.
Further revealing that the ‘intelligent highway’ has three vertical layers, Qilu Transportation said that sunlight can reach the solar panels via the shell of the transparent material used for building the road. In the top layer, recharging wires and sensors can be threaded for the purpose of monitoring traffic flow, weight load, and temperature.
With reference to the ‘intelligent highway,’ Qilu Transportation’s General Manager Zhou Yong said that the existing highways are like “the 1.0-generation product” which can only carry the vehicles that pass by; and added: “We’re working on the 2.0 and 3.0 generations by transplanting brains and a nervous system.”
The concept is interesting and futuristic. However, it has to be seen if it can be financially viable. Many futuristic concepts fail due to inability to offer financially viable alternative to existing technologies.
Ahead of the official unveiling of the BMW iX3 SUV at the 2018 Auto Show in Beijing this week, German automaker has shared a teaser video for the new vehicle, which is being considered a part of the automaker’s X SUV line-up.
According to a survey carried out by AAA, the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) is encouragingly on the increase in the United States, with 20% Americans having expressed the possibility of going electric when they buy their new car.
British energy company BP has announced that it is investing an amount of $20 million in Israeli startup StoreDot which is known in the battery world for its ‘ultra-fast charging battery.’
During the course of Tesla Motors first-quarter 2018 earnings call, the company CEO Elon Musk teased a potential gigantic 1 GWh energy storage project which is likely to be announced soon.
In a new massive energy storage project in the UK, battery packs of BMW i3 electric car have been used for connecting to the UK National Grid.
At Tesla’s Q1 2018 earnings call this week, the electric vehicle manufacturer’s CEO Elon Musk said that he is expecting an approximate 600-mile range for the Tesla Semi electric truck.