Smart tunnels and intelligent roads

Smart tunnels and intelligent roads


The concept is that of the “Smart Tunnel”, that is, the application of latest generation technology to make driving on roads and in tunnels safer, by taking every precaution for the wellbeing of drivers.

Enel X, the Enel division dedicated to innovative products and digital solutions, in partnership with Carlini Signal, the Roman company operative since 1979, and Alpiq InTec Italia, the Italian subsidiary of the Swiss group specialised in technological systems, has signed a three-year framework agreement with ANAS - Azienda Autonoma Statale della Strada (Italy’s Road and Motorway network concessionaire) for the refurbishment of all the security, video surveillance and ventilation systems in the highway tunnels on the Orte-Cesena E45 route. The project is based on the Smart Tunnel concept.


The strategic North-South link 

The Orte-Cesena E45 highway has always been a very busy road and a preferred route for lorries and tourists. It is a strategic link, completed and transformed into a highway by ANAS between the late 1970s and the mid 1980s, offering an alternative to the Autostrada del Sole (A1 Motorway) and providing a toll-free connection between the North and South of the country. It is the main direct route between the Tiber Valley and the Romagna region. The stretch from Orte to Cesena includes the 675 Umbro Laziale (from Orte to Terni) and the 3B Tiberina (from Terni to Cesena) state highways, for an approximate total of 250 km of four-lane road.

Work on the E45 highway 

The work includes the refurbishment of the signage, fire prevention, illumination, ventilation and surveillance systems and will bring together security, energy efficiency and technological innovation in a single solution. Enel X, with partners Carlini Signal and Alpiq, will create specific remote controlled LED illumination systems, technology which is increasingly found in city centres because it offers greater efficiency, savings and a seamless integration with sensors coordinating other innovative services including surveillance cameras, Wi-Fi networks, traffic and parking monitoring and temperature control. Immediate awareness of the actual driving conditions enables the system manager to act quickly and precisely, making reaction times much faster, especially on the highways.

The tunnels on the Orte-Cesena will also be equipped with electronic speed traps and LED technology Variable Message Signs (VMS) that will improve communication on the roads by providing drivers with highly visible, real-time information. Furthermore, water storage systems will be installed to supply the fire fighting hydrant systems alongside fixed cameras to measure emissions and the latest generation electrical systems to manage communication with the ANAS remote control centre.

These systems all serve to enable the remote monitoring of the condition of the tunnels and the management of any faults or problems in real time, by scheduling maintenance or modifications in advance in order to reduce risk. New technology is an extremely precious ally in the management of highway tunnels, improving both normal and emergency services and prioritising the safety of travellers.