How Automated Technology Is Changing Our Roadways

Technology is incorporated into every facet of our lives, and taking a drive is no different. While most people are familiar with all of the high-tech features in cars, you might be surprised about how tech affects the actual roads on which you drive. Consider these three examples of how technology affects your travel.


When you’re zipping along on the toll road, stopping at the booth and trying to find the correct change can waste a lot of time. E-tolls use a chip, bar scanner, or QR code to charge your credit card for the amount you owe. Some of these electronically debited tolls come with a small fee. According to Avis, if you don’t pay cash for tolls in your rental car, you are automatically opted into the e-Toll service and are charged a convenience fee for every electronic toll you pass.

Red Light Cameras

Running red lights is a common cause of automobile and pedestrian accidents. When red light cameras are in place, Economical says there may be fewer T-bone or angle collisions. These types of collisions cause serious bodily harm and a lot of property damage. The red-light cameras may be mounted on a pole to the side of the intersection or on the cabling that holds the stoplights. Failing to stop at the red light triggers the camera. The feed goes to a trained police officer who reviews the video. If the officer agrees that you did not stop at the red light before proceeding into the intersection, a ticket is sent to the registration address associated with your license plate. Even if someone else was driving your car, you’re on the hook for the ticket.

Driverless Cars

Self-driving cars have been in development for more than five years, and their testing is ongoing. Despite a few setbacks and unfortunate accidents, Waymo says that multiple automakers are still working on these types of vehicles. City planners, engineers, and auto manufacturers alike will have to work together in order to prepare America’s urban and rural roads for driverless cars. That might mean technology embedded into road signs, more reflectors on the pavement and side rails, and an increase in towers for transmitting and receiving data from the on-board computers. 

Some of these tech changes are already here, and others will be implemented over time. These are just a few of the ways technology affects travel. Understanding the benefits and drawbacks of how technology affects roadways allows you to be an informed consumer.


Curious to learn how technology is changing the auto industry? We recommend reading: The Best Technological Advancements Making Their Way into the Auto Industry

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