The biggest challenge with effectively using road sensors is ensuring a reliable source of power. Vivakor has signed a letter of intent with TBT Group for a energy harvesting sensor system for smart roads that makes use of the piezoelectric effect demonstrated by certain ceramic compositions. With this proprietary material, vibrations from cars traveling on the road induces a voltage within the ceramic which is routed into a circuit and used to charge a battery, producing enough energy to power sensors and communicate information to a database.
TBT Group is working with Rowan University’s Center for Research and Education in Advanced Transportation Engineering Systems integrate optimal sensors into the energy harvesting device. A smart road commercial product is anticipated to enter the market in 2021.