Better Roads

December 2014

Better Roads Digital Magazine

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40 December 2014 Better Roads By Brian Ethridge The Last Word For more blogs from Better Roads, visit THE ROADOLOGIST BLOG MnDOT paying farmers for standing corn stalks Minnesota transportation offi cials are offering to pay farms who leave corn stalks standing along highways this winter. The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) says standing corn stalks will help keep snow from drifting by breaking the wind's force and limiting snow from blowing onto roads. Farmers have an opportunity to earn money on a per-acre basis if they leave six to 20 rows of corn stalks standing. Ideally, MnDOT would like the help from farmers with fi elds to the north and west of highways where snow drifting often causes problem. Farmers make a one-season commitment from October until mid-April Regardless if farmers leave their corn stalks standing, there's no doubt Minnesota would have its snowplows ready for action – and it's a good thing since the state has already been socked with snow. ing-farmers-for-standing-corn-stalks/#sthash.mOKWMa4h.dpuf Are tracked electric vehicles the future of transportation? The TEV Project (, a system of compact, electrically powered roadways for use by electric vehicles, has released a new animation in hopes of demonstrating the simplicity of tracked electric vehicles. The project believes its design for electric vehicle infrastructure could transform how people all around the world travel. The new animation outlines the design of the TEV track and how its modular construction could revolutionize road travel. "Our new animation clearly shows how easily TEV tracks can integrate with pre-existing roads with benefi ts to motorists, to the environment and to local communities," says Caroline Jones Carrick, the U.K.-based project coordinator of the TEV Project. "It demonstrates the simple and practical conversion of the two fast lanes of a 6-lane motorway into two lanes of TEV track. Since each of TEV's high speeds tracks can carry the equivalent of 10 lanes of motorway traffi c, the road capacity is not reduced but rather dra- matically increased." EV public service vehicles would be designed to circulate around the track as cabs or minibuses, with no actual drivers in the vehi- cles. Other vehicles, including private "dual-mode" cars would have the ability to enter and leave the track from conventional roads. Vehicles, however, would be automatically checked for roadworthiness before being admitted into the TEV network. "The future of sustainable and accessible transport lies with large infrastructure projects which can revolutionize the way we travel for the better, Carrick says. "By collaborating with private and public organizations, we believe that the TEV Project can make this happen." The TEV project was developed by internationally renowned battery expert and innovator Will Jones. He developed the project in hopes of creating a network of specially designed highway 'tracks' that provide direct electric power to EVs as they travel under automated control. That would mean that electric vehicles, robo-taxis, public transport and light freight vehicles would have the ability to travel unlimited miles while being continually powered along the track. A sophisticated computer would take control of the vehicles as they enter the track, enabling close convoying and high speeds of travel, reducing congestion and travel times while dramatically cutting the risk of accidents. For more details and a video, go to

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