It’s an ambitious goal, but using ‘The Ray’ as a living lab for innovative ideas and technologies, is the plan for setting new standards for roadway construction across the globe.
The Ray is a proving ground for the evolving ideas and technologies that will transform the transportation infrastructure of the future. It starts on 18 miles of West Georgia’s I-85, and the land and communities surrounding it.
The Ray and its partners, the Georgia DOT and international technology partner COLAS have dedicated two newly installed state-of-the art technologies that are both “firsts” in the U.S.
– Wattway drive-over solar panels that turn ordinary highways into power producers
– WheelRight drive-over tire safety system
They have both been installed at the Georgia Visitor Information Center (VIC) on I-85 in West Georgia, along a corridor that is now known as “The Ray”.
The Ray is an 18-mile stretch of I-85 in West Georgia that is a model for the highway of the future, and a namesake project that embodies the vision of the late Ray C. Anderson (1934-2011), a globally recognized leader in green business and founder and chairman of the world’s largest carpet tile manufacturer, Interface, Inc.
Wattway Solar Road
Wattway solar panels are paved onto streets, highways and parking lots to combine the best practices of road construction and photovoltaic (PV) techniques to provide clean, renewable energy while allowing for all types of traffic. The thin, heavy-duty, skid resistant PV pavers can be applied directly over existing paving, eliminating the need to remodel or build new road infrastructures.
Pavement is only occupied by vehicles some 10% of the time. Imagine the solar resources of this surface area facing the sky, when 20 m² of Wattway panels provides enough electricity to power a single home.
It is composed of cells inserted in superposed layers that ensure resistance and tire grip. The composite material is just a few millimeters thick, making it possible to adapt to thermal dilation in the pavement, as well as vehicle loads, a guarantee of durability and safety.
The installation of a 50 square meter solar roadway section in Georgia; the first of its kind outside of France, will generate clean energy to help power the Georgia VIC as a demonstration project for technology that has potential to reshape the future of transportation at a global level.
WheelRight Tire Pressure and Tread Depth Monitoring
More than 35,000 drivers die each year in accidents on U.S. roads and highways and U.S. DOT data points to underinflated tires as a major cause of crashes that can result in fatalities and injuries.
The installation of the WheelRight, state-of-the-art, drive over tire safety system, that measures tire pressure and (for the first time anywhere in the world) tread depth, will help keep highways safer.
The installation of free tire pressure and tread depth monitoring for motorists at the VIC is jointly sponsored by The Ray and Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia (KMMG).
“The Ray is a place where we can test big ideas, the radical innovations, and the simple, smart choices that can create safer and cleaner transportation,” said Harriet Langford, president of The Ray.