As we all know, cars and becoming smarter and eventually they will allegedly all be driving themselves. People who drive their own vehicles 20-30 years from now will be considered “old school” or “traditionalists” and they will have to go to special tracks to drive them. Yes, cars have increased their IQs in a big way, but did you know that our roads and streets will be just as smart in the future? That’s right. The world is getting ready to build a huge network allowing seamless travel, reducing environmental impacts and enhancing  traffic flow and overall safety.

Developing innovative highway designs, in order to optimize transportation and lower its impact on the environment is exactly what civil engineers are working on right now. By leveraging the world’s most advanced technology and tapping into the planet’s brightest minds, they’re designing complex diverging diamond interchanges, high-speed directional ramps and sophisticated systems that can provide access control on both arterial roads and frontage roads.

Many people may ask—who is going to pay for all of this? In short, you and I will. On top of fuel taxes, you will now pay tolls for every smart highway you travel on. But, in the end we will all benefit, because 2050’s highways will mean increased mobility, fewer accidents, less fuel consumption and reduced pollution.

Already cars are getting ready for smart roads in a wide range of notable ways. They are getting better at recognizing each other and reacting to one another to maintain a safe distance, for example. And inter-car communication can be used to increase highway capacities, decrease the average length of a trip, dissolve traffic congestion and even manage weather-related events more efficiently.

Over time, bicycle lanes, greenways and other systems will connect, building a huge network that allows seamless travel even across longer distances.

Initially, these changes will start to appear in cities as they build a network of smart roads and establish a fleet of self-driving cars. Like anything else, they will slowly evolve past the cities and eventually to the suburbs and rural communities. New York, San Francisco and Chicago are considered the most prime cities for this evolution, because they all have too many people and too much traffic.

So, what happens when the highways become smarter than us? Well, a lot of good things, including less traffic and fewer fatalities. So, get ready to sit back and let the cars and the roads do all the work, brought to you by 1stCertified Collision Centers, a body shop with an eye on the future.