Google invents optical fiber roadways

Google invents optical fiber roadways

With the increased global penetration of the Internet, and high speed data becoming a necessity, there is an urgent need to provide high speed internet across the planet. Optical fiber is the most reliable technology for providing high speed internet; however, deploying optical cables aerially or underground can be labor intensive and costly.

Google has invented a revolutionary technology to provide high speed internet across the globe. They have invented Optical Fiber Roadways!


A recently published patent by Google reveals optic fiber highway technology. Google plans to install optical fiber cables along the surfaces of roads using adhesive material which doubles up as the protective layer around the optic fiber cables.

Technical Details

The process of disposing the optical fiber cables onto road surfaces involves placing bare optical fiber glass segments onto roads. Then, an adhesive material is applied to the optical fiber glass segments. The adhesive material envelops the optical fiber segments and provides protection to the optical fiber segments. The adhesive material and the optical fiber segments will have a combined thickness of less than 15 millimeters. In some cases, the thickness will be as low as 2 millimeters.

Google also plans to apply a pre-coating material the road surfaces. The pre-coating material allows for an easier and secure deposition of the adhesive, and the optical fiber segments on the road surfaces.

The optical fiber segments will be connected by junction boxes deposited into small holes and pockets in the roads.

The adhesive will have the same color as the road surface to blend into the road. Alternatively, the adhesive may be white in color and it may be used as a shoulder line instead of having to paint the shoulder lines. The optic fiber segment may also be disposed adjacent to a curb.


This technology is potentially ground-breaking. Deploying optical cables aerially or underground can be labor intensive and costly. Aerial deployment of fiber cables is impractical due to existing utility poles being full, ownership issues of utility poles, and due to zoning or other regulations. Burying fiber cables underground is also not feasible due to high cost of deployment, and difficulty maintenance.

On the other hand, with an exponential increase in internet users, with 3.8 billion active internet users, the global penetration of internet, and high speed data is becoming a necessity. As such, deployment of optic fiber cables on the roads could revolutionize how data is transmitted due to the ease of application, and possible global reach of the technology.

Could we see soon internet roadways transporting high speed data at the speed of gigabits per second? The prospect is looking likelier.

Patent Information
Publication Number: US20190011658A1
Patent Title: Hard Surface Deployed Fiber
Publication date: 2019-01-10
Filing date: 2018-09-14
Inventors: Chad JOHNSTON, Enrique Gonzalez Lopez
Assignee: Google LLC