Where we’re going we do need roads, solar charging roads
Solar Roadways are the future of roads, made from intelligent solar panels that could power electric cars.
The solar powered road technology has already been developed and is shown off in a video on the project's Indiegogo crowd-funding page. The video shows the solar panels built into an example road which is capable of supporting up to 115,000kg in weight.
In 2009 the US consumed 3,741 billion kilowatt-hours of energy. If all the US roads were made of these solar panels they would, using a conservative estimate, produce over three times that amount.
The solar panels are covered in a protective and tyre-grip friendly glass with the power-converting panels beneath that. Along the edge of the road will be a service channel that can transfer the power as well as provide a space for high-speed internet cabling. The roads even filter off rain water to avoid flooding and dangerous run-off plus they heat up to stop ice and snow build up.
The panels even feature LED lights so that the road can be changed to display whatever is needed. If there were an accident the diversion could be displayed right there on the road temporarily.
Perhaps combining this idea with the wireless charging lanes of The Netherlands' designers could make for a fuel-free green future on the roads. At the time of writing the project was at $60,000 of its $1 million goal - let's hope it picks up soon.