Anyone who commutes frequently or just watches the news these days knows that the U.S. has a serious infrastructure problem. Although crumbling roads and bridges have the potential to cripple our transportation system, they also present an opportunity to rebuild in smarter, more technologically advanced ways.
One of the most promising new transportation solutions comes from the company Solar Roadways, which is working to repave parts of the country with roads equipped with energy-storing technology.
Not only would these green roads absorb enough energy in one mile of a 4-lane highway to power 500 homes, they would also power transportation warning signs using embedded LEDs. Additional wireless capabilities would enable roadside panels to communicate real-time traffic information to travellers.
Thanks to a recent $100,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation, Solar Roadways is working with several universities to create prototypes and develop durable materials for the project.
Within the next two years, the company hopes to test its solar paving in parking lots.
Check out a video of Solar Roadways’ latest prototype:
Image: Solar Roadways