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How cities can utilise smart highway technology


To prepare for future road infrastructure, suppliers and technology developers should focus on a modular approach and interoperability.

A new report from Navigant Research examines the current state of smart highway technologies, providing an overview of current and recent test installations, and detailing the influence of automated vehicles and electric vehicles (AVs and EVs).

Transportation planning is essential for any city, and the evolution of the smart highway is expected to improve road access and safety for the commuters and vehicles that use it. AVs and EVs are key to achieving these benefits, and updated highway infrastructure is a powerful enabler.


“Smart highways are a significant element of the smart cities industry,” says Ryan Citron, senior research analyst with Navigant.

“Sensors and connectivity, road markings and signs, and electric roads are expected to enable smart highways that deliver reduced congestion, fewer collisions, and cleaner air.” According to the report, smart highway concepts in road marking and signage make it easier for machine vision and other sensors to monitor the local road situation, and new highway sensors can send data reports on road conditions to central service centres that then develop and deliver instructions to the fleet to optimise traffic flow. The report recommends cities engage in long-term road infrastructure planning, while suppliers and technology developers focus on a modular approach and interoperability, and road construction companies collaborate with their suppliers to develop global solutions. This report, The Convergence of Smart Highways and Smart Cities, examines the current state of smart highway technologies. It provides an overview of some current and recent test installations and examines the influence of AVs and EVs. The study also examines various benefits that will result from the successful implementation of smart highways. Recommendations are provided to road construction firms and suppliers on how to take advantage of the market potential and to government agencies on planning for the future.

An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the Navigant Research website.