Italy invests one billion euros in smart roads
Italy is developing a smart road system with drone stewards and sensors.
ANAS, the Italian concessionaire for national road and motorway network, is developing a new smart road infrastructure to be used on 2.500 km of its 26.000 km network. The idea is to build a digital layer on top of the physical infrastructure to allow dialogue between vehicles, infrastructure and the road operator. All this will optimize mobility and reduce accidents thus enabling the transition towards autonomous cars.
The system will be based on C-ITS services (Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems), V2I (Vehicle-to-Infrastructure) and V2V (Vehicle-to-Vehicle) communications ready to be integrated to 5G technology.
The project will be developed in three phases, with a total investment of one billion euros. The first part of the investment is already financed with a 250-million-euro package.
"We are talking about huge investments here,” says Marjaana Karjalainen of Dreamex Consulting and Business Finland’s evaluated consultant in Italy. She is advising Finnish ITS companies to evaluate business opportunities in Italy. “It would be important for Finnish suppliers to be present now when the first intelligent motorways are being built. Finnish companies have innovative solutions which would certainly raise interest in Italy."
The project is considered to be of the most innovative and ambitious smart road initiative in the world. Another important part of the digital road plan are the sensor poles that detect major environmental changes, from road conditions ahead to air pollution and wind speed and humidity. This information will be sent to vehicles via Wi-Fi and displayed through low-energy panels that are attached to the main body of the poles.
In the following phases the smart infrastructure will include drones that monitor tunnels, viaducts and general infrastructure. They will also detect accidents, like fires and floods, and can bring medicine and first aid to drivers.
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