At Curiosity Lab in Peachtree Corners, Georgia, companies are testing new transportation technologies. For example, you can summon an electric scooter, and it will roll up, riderless and ready for you to hop on.
“Think Uber, but for an e-scooter. You pull up the app, you call it, the e-scooter drives to you,” says Brandon Branham, chief technology officer for the city of Peachtree Corners, which owns Curiosity Lab.
The lab is located within a technology park and allows companies – free of charge – to see how their products perform in a real-world setting.
The property includes a 1.5-mile stretch of road that’s used as a test track for technologies like the scooters and self-driving electric shuttles.
And now part of the track is a solar road. It’s embedded with solar panels that people can walk and drive on.
“And they adhere right on top of the roadway so you don’t have to bust up the asphalt,” Branham says.
He says the manufacturer is evaluating how the solar road performs with pedestrians, bikes, and cars – and changing weather conditions.
“Can it hold up on a roadway? What happens when it gets really hot? What happens when it rains?” he says.
The data that companies gather at Curiosity Lab can help improve emerging technologies. And that can help speed the transition to a cleaner transportation future.
Reporting credit: Sarah Kennedy/ChavoBart Digital Media.