There are over 4.09 million miles of roads in the United States, carrying over 253 million cars and trucks. So isn’t it the right time they should be smartened up? Here’s how the science will transform our trusty old tarmac.
FUTURE ROADS WILL BE ABLE TO DE-ICE THEMSELVES
Researchers at the University of Nebraska have designed a road that clears its own particular ice and snow. The mystery? Including steel shavings and carbon particles to conventional concrete, then delivering electric power through the road surface and additionally the pavement. The shavings and particles make up around 20 percent of the blend – sufficient enough to lead electric power and subsequently to generate heat, yet insufficient to raise the hair of unfortunate people on foot.
FUTURE ROADS COULD CREATE THEIR OWN POWER FROM SOLAR RAYS…
What if the future roads could actually power the Electric Vehicles? This is the idea being pioneered by a Dutch company, SolaRoad. Think about it: our roads have a large surface area directly exposed to the sky. Give those snap-in panels the ability to catch sun-rays and you not only have the power that can feed the cars they serve, but it can also to give back to the power grid. We could also harness the solar energy to heat the water stored beneath the road, creating hydroelectricity.
…AND THAT MAKES ELECTRIC LORRIES AND BUSES A REALITY
“If you power by road it opens up electrification to trucks and buses as well,” says Martin Lamb from the Transport Research Laboratory. The technical requirements and development costs are, naturally, rather large. But if vehicles – especially freight – could travel through train-like long form, we could control their speed, and therefore the provision of power, because energy use would become more predictable. Just imagine how clear our motorways would be if all the Lorries traveled together in one lane.