A new smart road stud that can warn drivers of potentially icy roads could soon be available in the UK.
Once installed in the road the solar-powered studs monitor humidity and temperature and if the temperature drops to 0°C or below the blue LEDs in the stud start to flash to alert drivers of the possibility of ice formation. There are two versions of the stud – a direct replacement for the standard reflective stud and a snow-plough resistant version which is set into a core drilled hole.
While the products, are yet to be type-approved, on-road trials of the technology are underway in New Zealand and the system has been installed in car parks, airports and other off-road facilities around the world.
According to New Zealand-based company Solar Bright, they will soon be able to alert traffic management centres and maintenance depots of the treacherous conditions.
It is trialling a communications system that will send a signal to the traffic control centre when it is activated to inform the maintenance department about where gritters need to be deployed.
A snow-plough version can run for 700 hours on the battery pack while the standard version will run for 400 hours. From a full charge the solar energy will ensure the battery levels remain sufficiently charged as the system remains dormant for most of the year; the battery pack will last for five to seven years.