China has started work on what it says will become the world’s first “super highway.” So, what exactly makes this highway so super?
Well, according to Chinese state media reports, the planned 161-kilometer highway from Hangzhou to Ningbo will:
- Be designed for speeds of up to 120 kph (75 mph), 30 kph faster than the average speed limit on Chinese freeways.
- Allow drivers to speed right through toll gates, paying with a chip installed in their vehicles.
- Have a system of sensors installed on the road which can provide information to driverless vehicles, helping to prevent accidents
- Integrate photovolatic technology with the goal of drawing in solar power and using that power to wirelessly charge electric vehicles as they drive down the highway.
“With these smart technologies and enhanced infrastructure, the super highway will provide an all-weather fast pass, highly accurate positioning, convenience for unmanned driving, and realize ideal safety conditions for zero deaths,” writes the People’s Daily.
The road is scheduled to be completed by 2022, when Hangzhou hosts the Asian Games. It’s also supposed to be replicable model, which can be copied, creating “super highways” across the country.
While this all sounds extremely neat, authorities may need to increase security at their super highway once construction really starts getting underway. Earlier this year, China opened its first solar-powered highway in Jinan. Five days later, thieves stole away a section of the high-tech road.