Awards Registry

Highway Induction Paint to Enable Safety Messaging
Profile last edited on: 3/3/2021

Total Award Amount
Award Phase
Principal Investigator
Richard Claus
Activity Indicator

Location Information

NanoSonic Inc

158 Wheatland Drive
Pembroke, VA 24136
   (540) 626-6266
Multiple Locations:   
Congressional District:   09
County:   Giles

Phase I

Phase I year
Phase I Amount
The objective of the proposed Phase I Department of Transportation/Federal Highway Administration SBIR program is to develop a sprayable highway paint to communicate vehicle-to-everything (V2X) safety messages between infrastructure, vehicles and pedestrians. During Phase I, NanoSonic will work with Virginia Tech antenna designers and the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) to design and analyze four different painted line options, synthesize the paints, apply them on roadway testbeds and experimentally test their communication effectiveness. The four system design options to be considered are based on NanoSonic’s prior research of magnetic and electrically conducting paints, current NanoSonic paint products, published papers and issued patents. High coercivity magnetic paint may be used to permanently store roadway safety information about fixed highway hazards such as intersections in rural areas, at-grade railway crossings and winding roads, and then read by passing vehicles. Painted roadway lines with high electrical conductivity may be used instead as bidirectional transmission channels, employing signal coupling methods developed by the electrical cable industry. These would allow the real-time communication of temporary hazards such as ice, accidents, lane closures and disabled vehicles. The optimal paint and communication system design will be down-selected for development, deployment and roadway testing during Phase II.

Phase II

Phase II year
2020 (last award dollars: 2020)
Phase II Amount
The objective of this SBIR program is to demonstrate the use of patterned radar?reflective roadway paint and marking tape to communicate safety messages from roadway infrastructure to vehicles and drivers. NanoSonic will work with transportation engineers in the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) and radar design and system engineers in the Virginia Tech Hume Center. Radar?reflective roadway paint and marking tape would be developed, a radar system using low?cost components already used onboard vehicles would be designed and fabricated, the environmental durability of the paint would be analyzed, and the paint, tape and radar system demonstrated through roadway tests at VTTI. The color of the paint and marking tape would be matched to that of existing roadway center and side marking lines, so it could be applied over those lines and not change the visible appearance of the roadway. Discrete segments of the radar reflective paint would be patterned in digital code along the existing roadway lines to communicate specific safety information messages. Radar?reflective roadway paint would be used to communicate permanent roadway cautions, and easily removable radar reflective marking tape to communication temporary cautions. Multiple vehicles would be used to demonstrate system performance at VTTI on the Virginia Smart Road.