The development of technology that may enable roads to communicate with self-driving cars is being driven by 3M.

The way our roads will adapt to self-driving cars in the coming years probably won’t be quite as sexy as the disruptive talking roads of futurists’ dreams. Instead, it will involve small, more affordable tweaks to existing infrastructure–like specialized paint for highway markings, and even the highway signs themselves. A new connected-roads venture by the materials manufacturing giant 3M is a glimpse of that slightly less glamorous–but more plausible–future. For the last several months, the St. Paul, Minnesota-based company has partnered with transportation departments around the country to stage tests of its new road products, like pavement marking paint and street signs that can talk to cars.

The work in this field speaks to the concept of connected infrastructure.

A final thought:

One key element of safety when it comes to connected anything, whether a smart fridge or a smart road, is how easy it is to hack. While 3M hopes to become the leading purveyor of connected roads, it’s still figuring out how to make its technology secure–complicated by the fact that national standards don’t yet exist for it.

Visited 3 times, 1 visit(s) today

Leave A Comment