Here in broken California, we can’t hardly get Cal-Trans to complete regular asphalt roadways on time or on budget. While this is a nice idea, and in a perfect world it might be a perfect solution, I don’t think it will be adopted quickly by cash-strapped state governments. OTOH, maybe Federal subsidies from carbon taxes imposed by the EPA?
The design features embedded LED lights for markers. But, it’s a trouble magnet for some kids to hack the system like has been done with construction signs. This passage from the article really told me though that he doesn’t have a clue:
Brusaw says that the solar road would cost about $4.4M per mile, but those costs are offset by not needing to build coal plants, install utility poles, and build relay stations. “The taxpayers are already paying for all of these.
Umm, there’s coal power plants being built in the USA at taxpayer expense?
By John Brandon, Fox News
It’s being called snowmageddon – and for good reason. Snow and ice are wreaking havoc all across the United States with record wind chills and more precipitation than Siberia on a bad day. If your commute is taking three times as long as it usually does, go ahead and blame the archaic highway system.
That’s right. In the 1950s, the idea of paving America with black asphalt seemed like a good idea. Now, 60 years later, we’re still using it — and still sliding all over the road.
But what if the road itself could change?
That’s the dream for Scott Brusaw, who has a novel idea for dealing with snowy roads: replace them with a glass surface embedded with solar cells that generate power from the sun and store it in batteries for use at night. In his view, such a proliferation of solar cells could also help solve our ongoing dependence on fossil fuels, because they could feed excess electric power into the grid. He has even developed illuminated lane markings that change according to current road conditions.
His company, Solar Roadways is waiting for approval on a new $750,000 grant from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) that will help him build a large-scale prototype to test new materials and electronics, and hopefully prove that his invention works.