Automated & Connected

Image courtesy: CNW Group/407 ETR Concession Company Limited

In one night, 407 ETR and 3M CANADA roll out ADAS optimized high contrast pavement markings

For automated vehicles (AVs) to optimally operate on roads, the roads themselves need to be optimized for AVs. 407 Express Toll Route Concession Company Limited, in partnership with 3M Canada, has applied high-contrast 3M pavement marking tapes for Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) on 2.5 kilometers (1.5 miles) of lanes on Canada’s Highway 407 ETR. 407 ETR is inviting drivers of ADAS-equipped vehicles to provide feedback and share their experience via social media.

3M's ADAS-optimized Contrast Tape delivers a unique contrast between black and white and allows for improved detection, especially on a low contrast pavement such as concrete.  This initiative, part of the 407 ETR Living Labs program of promoting safety and next generation transportation, replaces the previous generation of lane markings on the road eastbound from Highway 427 with some being traditional white and the rest being contrast tape markings. The installation was performed in one night, by Total Traffic Services Inc.


Image courtesy: CNW Group/407 ETR Concession Company Limited


The new retro-reflective high contrast tape markings are being tested eastbound – half of the distance has the first generation 7-inch-wide contrast tape and the remainder has the next generation 10-inch-wide contrast tape, the first such installation in Canada. Both are wet reflective contrast tape – the 10 inch having been designed specifically to work better with ADAS and autonomous vehicles. The lane markings performed well during the winter and during the rainy spring period experienced this year.

"Our history with 3M Canada and their ability to innovate gives 407 ETR confidence in utilizing their products on our roadway," says Craig White, vice president of Highway and Tolling Operations for 407 ETR. "With success and support using 3M products in the past, the pilot project using 3M Connected Roads Contrast Tape made sense. It's important we remain ahead of the game when it comes to autonomous vehicles for the safety of drivers and passengers alike."


Learn more about advanced driver assistance systems


"Working with the 407 ETR, a trusted and valued partner, allows us to prepare and optimize roadways for ADAS of today and emerging autonomous vehicle technology. Validating our products in our unique Canadian climate helps us bring new technology to road-users and keep our roadways safe for all drivers" says Jonathan Cliffen, Connected Roads lead at 3M Canada.

The new road markings are designed to work with how machines see and read infrastructure as well as being readable to humans.  There are four strengths in the new lane markings that are particularly important to 407 ETR:

  • Wet Retroreflectivity – remains bright and visible even in wet weather
  • Color Contrast – black markings edging white provide improved lane definition, essential on low contrast pavement such as concrete.
  • Durability – long lasting performance due to the science of Microcrystalline Ceramic Beads and inlay into the pavement.
  • Advancement – providing a road of the future by enabling the use of ADAS


Input may be sent to 407 ETR's social media account on Twitter @407ETR or by email to


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William Kucinski is content editor at SAE International, Aerospace Products Group in Warrendale, Pa. Previously, he worked as a writer at the NASA Safety Center in Cleveland, Ohio and was responsible for writing the agency’s System Failure Case Studies. His interests include literally anything that has to do with space, past and present military aircraft, and propulsion technology.

Contact him regarding any article or collaboration ideas by e-mail at