One of the most significantly UNDER-reported issues facing the our country today is our crumbling infrastructure of roadways and bridges. Countless lives have been lost from automobile accidents or simply crossing the street. Not only that, but many roads are poorly lit where the drivers can't see very far ahead of them increasing the risk of an accident. How many lives have been lost because of icy roads or wet roads with poor drainage?
What if I told you there is already a road for the future that will solve almost all of those problems and create clean energy to power entire towns all while keeping electric cars fully charged as the drive? Sounds like science fiction right? It's becoming more of a reality everyday and may one day change the world.
Imagine a road that melts its own snow (no more salt/sand, no more contaminated runoff), lights itself (greatly reducing the need for streetlights, illuminated warning signs, etc.) and where repairing a pothole requires only a screwdriver. This road pays for itself in in just a matter of years and as you are driving on it is collecting energy from the Sun to power your home.
The answer to our dependence of fossil fuels and safer roads are solar powered road ways.
The idea was created when actual childhood sweet hearts, Scott and Julie Brusaw, were playing with toy cars on an electrical track as kids. As they grew up the wondered how they could apply that same kind of system in real life. In 2006 the couple envisioned replacing asphalt surfaces with structurally-engineered solar panels capable of withstanding heavy vehicular traffic.
These solar panels would have self sustaining LED lighting incorporated to signal traffic signs, warn of a person or animal crossing the road, alert drivers of traffic problems ahead and the list goes on. The solar panels can be quickly replaced by just one technician as well as melting ice and snow on the surface, eliminating the need for salt on winter roads. They also envisioned charging electric and hybrid vehicles as they are on the road as well as using the electricity collected to power the town around them.
After building a solar parking lot to test the new technology the public were amazed at the potential and a crowdfunding campaign was start in 2014. So far they have raised raised 2.2 million dollars which passed their goal of 1 million. Solar Roadways could be the road that takes us into a future of clean practical energy to make the world a better place.
To learn how cool solar roadways are watch this video.