Roads that Pay for Themselves: Startup Nears Two Smart Pavement Pilot Project Contracts
Roads that Pay for Themselves: Startup Nears Two Smart Pavement Pilot Project Contracts

Integrated Roadways is close to securing contracts for projects where they could test out "smart pavement" aimed at making roads financially self-sufficient.

After years of planning, the next several months are when Tim Sylvester will get the chance to start testing out what he’s been telling people for years: roads can pay for themselves.

Sylvester’s company, Integrated Roadways, wants to put sensors, phone and Internet connectivity and other hardware inside the surfaces society drives on. The company has been pitching the idea to governments since 2012, but unlike the nimble cloud startups that have flared in and out of existence in the interim, Integrated Roadways is dealing in one of the heaviest kinds of hardware possible for a tech company to lift. So until now, it’s been limited to exploring the idea in partnership with governments who might want to put high-tech roads in place in the future.

Finally, it has two pilot projects coming up where it intends to actually lay down pavement and prove its concept: One in Kansas City, Mo. and one in another state. Bob Bennett, Kansas City’s chief innovation officer, confirmed the location of the first pilot. Sylvester has yet to announce the location of the second.

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