Imagine a future where the roads could obtain and transmit important data about traffic and hazards.
They even gave you Wi-Fi connectivity so your vehicle could access all of this data in real-time.
High-tech sensors and more were installed within the pavement itself that would detect your vehicle's position and even alert emergency responders within seconds of a crash.
What's the possibility of something like this happening in our lifetimes?
Well, while self-driving cars (and that crazy new Tesla truck) have taken over headlines everywhere...
Others are looking at improving the roads themselves.
The Kansas City tech startup Integrated Roadways is in the process of developing "smart pavement" tech that will increase driver safety while also providing a Wi-Fi connection for the cars of tomorrow.
This will be achieved by placing a "sensor, data and connectivity network" into the roadway itself, according to the founder Tim Sylvester.
But what will they use this for?
Things like the speed, weight and direction of vehicles can be measured using this technology.
Smart Pavement technology is currently being tested in Denver, Colorado right up the street from a Pepsi Co. bottling plant.
First, the original pavement had to be replaced with interlocking Smart Pavement slabs.
And what's the current status of this project?
2019 saw the installation of another 500 meters of asphalt on Highway 285, due south of Denver.
This site was chosen because of so many distracted drivers running off the edge of the road.
"It is such a beautiful location that people get caught up in the view and they miss the turn," says Sylvester.
The isolated nature of this area means that such crashes could easily go unnoticed by passersby.
Just how would the pavement's algorithm know when such a thing had occured?
"If a vehicle leaves the pavement at a trajectory and speed that suggests they left unsafely, the pavement would notify emergency responders that someone had ran off the road." says Peter Kozinski, the director of the RoadX program under the Colorado Department of Transportation.
Using this information, emergency dispatchers could arrive on the scene to see if anyone was in need of help rather than having to wait for a call.
This data could not only help those in a crash, but be used to improve the design of the roadways themselves to further crashes could be prevented in the future.
But wouldn't something like this slow down the construction process?
Believe it or not, precast concrete squares have been used for over 80 years in eastern Europe and other places.
This method of paving actually makes it possible to build roads faster, while increasing the durability and reducing maintenance.
Expansion ports within the pavement itself will allow sensors to be added or removed for replacement.
There's a good possibility that some of these changes may start to impact our roads in just a few short years.
The concept of Wi-Fi connections turning a self-driving car into a mobile living room will be very real, and probably sooner than you think.
Stay tuned for more!