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  • Can Fractal and Integrated Roadways enable smart roads that will replace the need for on-building smart city technology?

Fractal and Integrated Roadways are enabling smart roads that can host and hide antennas’ wireless connectivity for vehicles, devices and the surrounding area.

Fractal Antenna Systems (Fractal) and Integrated Roadways have joined forces to deploy the first generation of digital transportation infrastructure that claims to enable smart roads that will replace the need for on-building smart city technology.

Fractal reports it has devised a fractal-based wideband for installation into Integrated Roadways’ Smart Pavement solution, which is designed to host and hide antennas that provide wireless connectivity for vehicles, devices, and the surrounding area. The antenna system is hidden inside modular precast concrete pavement slabs.

Smart road use cases

Prior demonstrations of smart road technologies have shown the ability to charge electric vehicles as they drive, and embedded sensors to count, weigh, measure, and position vehicles. But there has yet to be a system to successfully enable advanced, modern telecommunications connectivity to the pavement, according to the partners.

“Prior attempts to use antennas in concrete, for example, have come up short. By teaming up with Integrated Roadways, we are able to successfully transmit signals with our antenna systems embedded in the concrete, to allow for connectivity to other wireless devices which can include cell phones or cars. That’s a game changer,” said Dr Nathan Cohen, founder, CEO and CTO of Fractal.

Difficulties in deploying ubiquitous small-cell antennas has slowed the adoption of standalone 5G in the US. Fractal reckons embedding advanced antenna systems in the roads will allow smart roads to replace much of the equipment affixed to vertical infrastructure, such as cell towers, buildings, streetlights that are extensively used and becoming an eyesore and costly permit-granting challenge in most cities.

“Attaching antennas and other telecom equipment to vertical infrastructure is a last-generation macro-cell architecture that doesn’t reflect the requirements of modern small-cell distributed antenna systems that enable API based SD-Oran networks-of-networks,” said Tim Sylvester, CEO and founder of Integrated Roadways.

“With key telecom components embedded in the roadways, citizens and communities can benefit from digital infrastructure that provides immediate wireless connectivity that is invisible, seamless, hyperlocal, and hyper-integrated. This approach is the future of autonomy, telecom, and community-oriented municipal infrastructure.”

Fractal and Integrated Roadways will be deploying the new antenna technology starting with Lenexa City Centre in Lenexa, Kansas. The new antenna system will be exclusive to Integrated Roadways for smart road applications, and Integrated Roadways will be exclusively using Fractal products for these implementations.

Fractal Antenna Systems provides off-the-shelf and custom antenna and electromagnetic solutions to a range of end markets and applications. Fractal claims its antennas and solutions are an integral part of wireless enablement for public safety, telecom, aviation, IoT, medical, and government/military applications, among others.

Integrated Roadways is a digital infrastructure company which describes its mission is to transform traditional roadways into “self-sustaining, digital infrastructure systems” that improve public safety, mobility, and communications. Its Smart Pavement consists of factory-built precast concrete sections embedded with technology to transform ordinary roads into a managed services platform for next-generation mobility and cities.

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Quelle/Source: Smart Cities World, 28.09.2023

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