FutureStructure

New Road Striping in California Meant to Help Self-Driving Vehicles

The end of the summer brings some new changes to an estimated 394,608 miles of California's highways.

by Kurt Snibbe, The Orange County Register / August 9, 2018
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(TNS) — Californians spend a lot of time on the road, especially in the summer when they set out on vacation or head to the beach. But how well do they know those roads they traverse? Here’s a look at some of the more visible changes along California’s estimated 394,608 miles of lanes.

Marking the Lines

There's a stretch along the 5 freeway that shows the past and future of California’s roads. New, more reflective markers are replacing the old Botts dots.

Raised pavement markers are approximately 48 feet apart on a highway but vary in distance depending on the type of road or lane. At 65 mph, one would pass two markers 48 feet apart in less than a second.

Getting Thicker

The 4-inch-wide stripes with Botts dots will someday be replaced with 6-inch-wide stripes. The new stripes may look like paint, but they are tape or thermal plastic embedded with glass beads.

The new striping is expected to enhance safety in challenging conditions as well as be a better guide for autonomous vehicles.

Sticking to It

It's hard to tell at full speed, but if stuck in traffic one might be able to recognize tape on some sections of the road. Reflective tape is laid on the road, cut and then pressed to seal its adhesive backing. It might be white or yellow.

©2018 The Orange County Register (Santa Ana, Calif.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.