Let's take this one step further. Why do we need signs if, for example, the speed limits can be flexibly adapted to the traffic situation? The perfect speed for a specific time can be left to the swarm intelligence of the autonomous fleet of vehicles. There will also be no need to provide warnings for sharp bends in the road. They are already marked in the navigation system or detected by camera systems well in advance; weather or road conditions are detected by the tires. Even traffic lights can be dispensed with completely. According to concepts from MIT and studies by the University of Clemson, it is possible to reduce the number of junctions for waiting cars by 99% using driverless control. The next step to perfection? Light traffic instead of traffic lights!
The road of the future will reduce the number of parking spaces. Of course only the markings are referred to here. In future, sensors, which are applied like tattoos on the asphalt, will report the available spaces.
Since the length of the car can be included in this, the number of parking spaces will be dynamic. BMW and INRIX are currently working on a realtime analysis of movement data for cars entering and reversing out of parking spaces via GPS. This will derive the statistical probability of where free spaces are most likely to be. The roads will soon be able to take over this task from the satellites.
Even the last compulsory stop – refueling – could be dispensed with by using electric cars. First of all, a road could also produce electricity – if, for example, solar panels are integrated into the surface. This is no pipe dream. Cycle lanes in the Netherlands and roads in France and the USA are already providing emission-free electricity. It could then be fed directly into the cars. Induction coils integrated into the road surface would make charging stations increasingly superfluous. In Seoul, already a pioneer when it comes to smart cities, coils like this have already been embedded into the asphalt so that buses can charge wirelessly at bus stops.