New Israeli technology weighs trucks without stopping
Technion and Innowattech Energy Harvesting Systems develop way to detect overloaded trucks quickly and efficiently.
By RON FRIEDMAN
Truck drivers beware. A new technology developed by the Israel National Roads Company (INRC), together with researchers from the Technion and Innowattech Energy Harvesting Systems, enables vehicles to be weighed while in motion, meaning that overloaded trucks can be detected and prosecuted quickly and efficiently.The new weighing system, a self-powered system which is embedded in the road, completed its final round of testing this week on Road 75, near Haifa.The system, which has potential for use in law enforcement, infrastructure maintenance monitoring and road and bridge design and planning, is a further development of the partnership’s custom piezoelectric generators, which can be used to produce electricity from vehicle motion on the road.According to Adrian Cotrus, director of the INRC’s research and development department, the development of the weigh-in-motion system was a direct by-product of the group’s original energy-producing solution, which was first revealed last year.“We figured that if we’re already utilizing the vehicle’s motion for energy production, we could examine further applications and began working on the weigh-inmotion solution,” said Cotrus.Cotrus said that while there are other weigh-in-motion technologies available around the world, what made their new development unique and groundbreaking is its level of accuracy and the fact that it allowed for real-time, wireless transfer of information and is self-powered.“These systems are a landmark in our ability to ensure that trucks that overloaded do not make it to the road,” said INRC director-general Alex Viznitzer. “Overloaded trucks endanger other users of the road and damage the quality of the roads. The company will integrate Innowattech systems on bridges and other sensitive points.”“This is the only system in the world that is embedded beneath the asphalt and allows accurate weighing at any speed and simultaneously enables the supply of electric energy needed to operate the monitoring system and communicate it to the relevant body. The system provides data on the weight as well as the speed of the vehicle,” said Innowattech’s CEO, Dr. Lucy Edery-Azulay.Edery-Azulay said that the weigh-in-motion system had a huge market potential for the fields of industry, trade and services and could function as a monitoring system at the entrance and exit points of places like gas stations, ports, quarries and warehouses.Cotrus said that the system could also be used in toll roads and bridges, enabling differential payment according to weight.Innowattech’s first commercial project was launched in May, when it was commissioned to supply its technology for lighting road signs on the Venice-Trieste Highway in Italy.
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