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The Ray Today

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We’ve collaborated with amazing partners to bring these big potential technologies and best practices to our stretch of I-85. The learnings and data we’re gathering on The Ray have begun to inspire and guide roadway projects across the globe. Each discovery paves our path forward too.

 

Solar-Powered Vehicle Charging

2015

Located along The Ray, the Georgia Visitor Information Center in West Point is home to the state’s very first solar-powered PV4EV (photovoltaic for electric vehicle) charging station. It’s one giant step toward creating the infrastructure that’s needed to support electric vehicle transportation.

POWERED BY

Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia (KMMG)
The Ray C. Anderson Foundation
The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT)
Hannah Solar

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Tire Safety Check Station

2016

Improperly inflated tires are dangerous and reduce fuel efficiency, but tire inflation and monitoring methods of today are a hassle. Our first-in-the-world roll-over WheelRight tire safety monitoring system, located at the Georgia Visitor Information Center on The Ray, sends drivers a text message with critical information about their individual tire pressures and tread depths. The WheelRight is compatible with any vehicle with four or more tires. So whether you are driving the family sedan or an 18 wheeler, simply drive over the monitor to get your text!

POWERED BY

Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia (KMMG)
The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT)

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Solar-Paved Highway

2016

The Ray is the testing ground for Wattway’s pilot project in the U.S.: a pavement that uses traditional solar cells, protected in a patented frame, that allows the road surface to generate clean energy under heavy vehicles. The 50 square meter installation was installed December of 2016 and is located next to Georgia Visitor Information Center on The Ray.

POWERED BY

Hannah Solar
Wattway
The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT)

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Smart Planting

2016

One of our largest untapped assets is the land around the interstate, called the right-of-way. We’re maximizing that land use with a vegetation pilot. Perennial Kernza® plants are a breakthrough from traditional annual wheat grasses and have deep root systems that grow 10 feet or longer and that help to enrich the soil, retain clean water, and sequester carbon. This project is a win-win. Georgia DOT land is better served by this resilient plant that can hold soil against stormwater flooding. The environment benefits from a plant that stores carbon from cars and trucks deep below the topsoil where is it less likely to be disturbed and re-released. Additionally, we can image that one day sustainable fiber could be harvested from the roadsides, providing a raw material source for single-use products like toilet paper, kitchen napkins and baby diapers.

POWERED BY

University of Georgia College of Environment + Design
The Land Institute
The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT)

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Bioswales

2016

To clean water runoff on The Ray, we’ve growing bioswales, which are shallow drainage ditches filled with vegetation or compost to slow water movements and capture particulate pollutants during rainstorms. Made from plant species native to Georgia, our bioswales also help beautify our stretch of I-85.

POWERED BY

The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT)
University of Georgia College of Environment + Design

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Climate Modeling

2016

The Ray, in partnership with Resilient Analytics, has partnered to complete a comprehensive vulnerability assessment that anticipates the way weather patterns and climate change will impact our geographical area. This research will help guide future work, from how we transform right-of-way to the materials we use, making The Ray an example for other roadways in the Southeast and the world.

POWERED BY

Resilient Analytics

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Pollinator Garden

2016

Georgia’s highways can be more beautiful, and the drive more enjoyable, when the roadside is
painted in colorful wildflowers. But besides the beauty of nature, these meadows offer many benefits over common turf grass.

These meadows attract many pollinators which are important for our food supply. One out of every three bites you eat are made possible by busy bees, butterflies and birds that rely on flowers and plants as their food source. Georgia’s family farms need healthy pollinators to produce fresh fruits and vegetables.

Pollinator meadows also require less maintenance and less mowing than turf grass.

POWERED BY

Georgia Conservancy
Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia (KMMG)
The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT)
The Chattahoochee Nature Center
Troup County High School

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Rubber Roads

2018

Rubber roads first piqued our interest when we learned that simply adding recycled tires to an asphalt mixture reduces road noise and increases road durability, extending the life of the pavement by 15 to 20 percent. Reusing scrap tires can also help control public health dangers related to tire dumps, like tire fires and breeding groups for disease-carrying mosquitoes.

In 2018 The Ray worked with Troup County to pave a brand new road with a rubberized asphalt mix, a first for the county. Tom Hall Parkway runs parallel to The Ray and connects the interstate with Great Wolf Lodge, Sentury Tire, and the Georgia Industrial Business Park.

POWERED BY

Troup County, Georgia
The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT)

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V2X Connected Technology

2019

By 2022, it is estimated that there will be 105 million connected vehicles on the road “talking” to each other and the roads, producing the nation’s largest data stream up to 150 petabytes annually which is equal to 15,000 years of television content. Managing and making sense of that data is critical not only for managing congestion but for improving roadway safety and saving lives.

The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) and The Ray are jointly partnering with Panasonic to create a vehicle-to-everything (V2X) data ecosystem that will enable Georgia’s first connected interstate roadway. In addition to several roadside units along The Ray that will receive connected vehicle information, Panasonic is building their CIRRUS V2X (vehicle-to-everything) platform, or the “brain”, enabling Georgia DOT to leverage the real-time, location-specific data to improve roadway safety, ease congestion, identify maintenance needs and roadway interruptions.

POWERED BY

The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT)
Panasonic

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Road Striping

2019

Smart vehicles need smart infrastructure. Today’s infrastructure must evolve from a system designed to assist human decision making, to one that also guides automated cars as they interpret their environment to make decisions from speed, direction, obstacle avoidance, to emergency response. And it must do so under any driving or weather condition. Creating a system supports both human and machine vision requires new technology. Following the repaving of 13 of The Ray’s 18 miles, we partnered with Georgia DOT and 3M to stripe the lanes with their Connected Roads All Weather Elements which are designed for high visibility in all weather conditions, by both human and machine-operated vehicles.

POWERED BY

The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT)
3M

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