ROADS AND THE FUTURE

Following a brief review of the history of roads, this article considers several factors which will bring about changes in road design and construction in the future. One such factor is the development of electronic control. At the present time research is being conducted in both the U.S. and Europe to develop an electronic system of controls which will ensure that a vehicle on a highway will travel up to an acceptable maximum speed without colliding with the vehicle in front, while exercising overtaking movements in traffic in safety and with the ability to come to a halt before colliding with any significant obstruction, such as vehicles which are stationary following an accident. The research is following two courses. In one, an electronically operated vehicle with radar, infrared or supersonic sensors is employed. When the vehicle leaves the the highway on which it is electronically controlled, it reverts to manual driving. In the other, the road pavement contains a continuous bank of electronic wire loops, and the following vehicle is restricted by braking or encouraged by accelerating, having regard to the time since the vehicle ahead passed over the particular loops. A second factor examined in this article is the energy crisis, which could result in less traffic, traffic with a lower power/weight ratio, and traffic travelling more slowly on significant upgrades. All of this suggests less road width requirements (fewer lanes) and wish for lower grades, possible at the expense of increased horizontal curvature. This in turn could be a real problem in the design of road drainage. Other factors considered are environmental effects of roads, including aesthetics and pollution, and the effect of roads on the social conscience which is explained in relation to human safety.

  • Corporate Authors:

    Law Book Company, Limited

    301-305 Kent Street
    Sydney 2000,   Australia 
  • Authors:
    • O'Grady, V P
  • Publication Date: 1974-7

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00083708
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Apr 8 1975 12:00AM