North Dakota plans for the future and it might not be so distant. A DOT planning engineer believes advances in technology will improve the state's roads and DOT budget.
When it comes to driverless cars, it's not the technology, but rather the rules that are of concern. "We are monitoring the public discussion. Technology is not the major issue; we're interested in the questions of public policy," said Scott Zainhofsky a Department of Transportation planning engineer.
Other technological advances coming into play are three-dimensional printers, self-automated equipment that would actually "print" the highway by doing the dirt work and laying an aggregate surface, for example.
But the one that really gets Zainhofsky excited is the advance in concrete, a product that would be self-healing. Cracks would seal themselves, the iron rebar in bridges and roads would not be exposed and compromised, and, over the long-term, "a roadway could last indefinitely," he said.