“The Ray” is an 18-mile stretch of west Georgia’s Interstate 85, which was designed to be a proving ground for ideas and technologies that could transform transportation infrastructure in the future. A number of companies, including the Georgia Department of Transportation, Kia Motors Mfg. Georgia, Hannah Solar, Wattway, The Land Institute, Drawdown, The University of Georgia College of Environment and Design, Resilient Analytics, the Georgia Conservancy, The Ray C. Anderson Foundation, and the Chattahoochee Nature Center, have joined forces to create pilot projects to test on the high-tech road.
The following are some of the pilot projects being tested on The Ray:
- Georgia’s first solar-powered PV4EV (photovoltaic for electric vehicle) charging station.
- A rollover WheelRight Tire Pressure Monitoring System measures pressure on vehicles traveling up to 15 miles per hour and sends drivers a text message informing them of their tire pressure. The system is connected to a camera that reads plate numbers.
- A Wattway 50-square-meter installation of solar paving panels that feed electricity into the grid to power everything from street lights to electric vehicle charging.
- Kernza plants — wheat grasses and wheat straw — have been planted in a portion of the right-of-way to test the possibility of farming along the highway.
- Plant bioswales trap pollutants and slow water movement, while beautifying the highway.
The Ray’s website states, “We’re starting a movement to make The Ray a net-zero highway. Zero Deaths. Zero Waste. Zero Carbon. Zero Impact.”