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The Ray is Georgia's green highway experiment

Think highways can't be eco-friendly? Think again.

Emme Hall
I love two-seater, RWD convertibles and own a 2004 Mazdaspeed Miata for pavement fun and a lifted 2001 Miata for pre-running. I race air-cooled Volkswagens in desert races like the Mint 400 and the Baja 1000. I have won the Rebelle Rally, seven-day navigational challenge, twice and I am the only driver to compete in an EV, the Rivian R1T.
Emme Hall
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The Ray is an experimental stretch of highway in Georgia looking to change the way humans interact with roads. The organization's lofty goal is zero deaths, zero waste and zero carbon emissions on the highways of the future.

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While its initiatives are spread out along an 18-mile stretch of highway 85, the Georgia Visitors' Center at Exit 1 just past the Alabama/Georgia border is home to many of the highway's features.

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FIrst up is a drive-through tire safety system.

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Designed by WheelRight, the system can scan tire sidewalls and even read your tires' tread depth.

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It only takes about 20 feet of driving for the cameras and sensors to do their thing.

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At the end a kiosk prints your results.

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You can keep the written information or choose to have it sent to your phone.

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A solar-powered Level 3 fast-charging station provides juice for EVs.

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The Ray's small patch of solar road powers the 5,700 square-foot visitor center building.

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These thin, skid-resistant, heavy-duty, photovoltaic panels could be installed directly over existing pavement, most likely on the shoulder or in emergency lanes.

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It's conceivable that in sunny states, solar roads could push electricity directly into the grid.

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