As our cars get smarter and more advanced in how they can help us drive more safely, these smart cars still need to “see” the road and lane lines that organize our roads. A simple yet important opportunity for innovating the road itself and for making driving safer right now, today – but also in the future – is to use lines and markings on the road that are easy for both human drivers and car cameras to see.
Just like our own human eyes, the “machine vision systems” of cars today that use “Advanced Driver Assistance Systems” benefit from lane lines that are bright and clear, even overnight and in the rain. As companies like Waymo One, drive.ai and GM Cruise test and improve self-driving cars with higher levels of autonomous or independent driving function, something as simple as the lines on the road and the signs on the roadside still matter – a great deal!
Creating a system that supports both human and machine vision requires new technology. To accomplish that goal, The Ray, Georgia DOT, and 3M partnered to stripe 13 recently repaved miles of The Ray with 3M’s Connected Roads All Weather Elements lane markings. 3M elements provide visibility daytime, nighttime and in dry or wet weather conditions, which is made possible with unique 2.4 (wet) and 1.9 (dry) refractive index bead technology. Importantly, 3M’s Connected Road technology is designed for high visibility in all weather conditions, by both human and machine-operated vehicles. See more about 3M’s technology in this video made in partnership with Georgia DOT.
Click on an image to view larger.