The rise of automated cars is fueling a move toward the idea of smart highways — and China is not only leading the way but "is the most likely place for the world's first true smart roadways," Tech Crunch reported.
According to the technology news site, China is one of the first to announce plans to build a projected 100 mile-long smart road in its eastern Zhejiang province, blending safety features to support autonomous driving tracked with sensors, an Internet-of-Vehicles system and solar panels.
The news site noted Chinese scientists are breaking ground on generating power through solar panels — a key component of the smart highway of the future — and have reached a record 17.3 percent power conversion efficiency rate on organic solar cells.
There have been lots of attempts to create parts of smart highways, with specific efforts focusing on solar roads and smart traffic infrastructure projects — but they have met with mixed results.
China on the other hand is a rising nation, giving it "immense opportunity to implement smart technologies," Tech Crunch's Hugh Harsono writes.
"With a mobile-first mindset helping to carry Internet to hundreds of millions of people without desktop computers, China has shown the capability to implement technology quickly and relatively efficiently," Harsono writes.
"China is the most likely place for the world's first true smart roadways because of its unique infrastructure environment, relatively flexible bureaucracy in terms of technological implementation, as well as the robust nature of manufacturing and supply chain refinement in China."