As a living lab, The Ray is a proving ground for revolutionary innovations and bold, unprecedented ways of thinking. So far on our journey, some ideas that have shaped The Ray the most have come from unlikely people and places.
DOWN THE ROAD
Ever heard of smart studs? For starters, you should know that they live up to their name:
they’re way more advanced than your typical road stud reflectors. Solar-powered smart studs illuminate in different colors and patterns to communicate a variety of crucial alerts to drivers and passengers.
EV CHARGING LANES
Battery-driven vehicle sales are on the rise, but in many ways, the world isn’t ready for their mass adoption. One serious disadvantage to driving an electric car is that you have to pause your journey to top up at a charging station when the battery gets low. Along with price, lack of charging infrastructure is a top deterrent to drivers considering ditching their gas-guzzlers.
That’s where EV charging lanes come in. By wiring roads to create an electromagnetic field that transmits energy to a receiver that supplies the car’s battery, drivers could get the power they need while still in motion—no stopping required.
We’re still on the fence about whether to say “GO” to an EV charging lane project on The Ray. Here’s our breakdown of what looks promising, plus the potential challenges:
Dynamically charged cars could have smaller, lighter batteries, making electric cars faster and more affordable.
Breakthroughs are happening. Qualcomm tested a 100-meter stretch of road outside Paris and successfully transmitted 20 kilowatts of energy to cars traveling 75 mph.
Cost. Tearing up highways to embed cables, coils and sensors isn’t cheap.
In order for drivers to pay for electricity while on the road, instant payment systems would need to be installed in cars.
The technology must be safe before it gets rolled out to real-life roadways in uncontrolled environments.