Technology

Coming Soon: 'Intelligent Highway' In China That Can Charge Electric Cars While Driving!

DIVYIA ASTHANA | 1
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| May 22 , 2018 , 12:28 IST

Technology is growing in leaps and bounds as is the trend for electric vehicles which reduce the need for fossil fuels. China, which has always been in the front of path-breaking technology is now testing an "intelligent highway" concept that can revolutionalise the way road transport works, opening the possibility of powered roads that can charge electric cars travelling on the roads.

According to reports, the intelligent highway would incorporate solar panels, mapping sensors and electric battery rechargers which could eventually support self-driving cars, delivery traffic updates, accurate mapping and on-the-go recharging of electric vehicles from the ground up.

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Builder Qilu Transportation Development Group Co will be embedding the technologies under transparent concrete used to build a 1,080-meter-long (3,540-foot-long) stretch of road on China's eastern city of Jinan. Currently, around 45,000 vehicles travel over the section every day and the solar panels generate enough electricity to power highway lights and 800 homes.

“The highways we have been using can only carry vehicles passing by, and they are like the 1.0-generation product. We’re working on the 2.0 and 3.0 generations by transplanting brains and a nervous system,” said Zhou Yong, General Manager of Qilu Transportation Development Group Co.

The road consists of 3 layers, including solar cells, recharging wires and sensors monitoring temperature, traffic flow and weight load, all covered with a shell of transparent material allowing sunlight to reach the solar cells.

“From the angle of the technology itself, charging is not a problem,” said Zhou.

“The vehicles that can be charged wirelessly aren’t used on roads yet,” he added.

As per Bloomberg News, the total cost of the Jinan stretch of road being incorporated with the new technologies is $6.5 million.