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Solar Roads Will Solve All Our Problems … Maybe

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.


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It’s Infrastructure Week, here, and to me that usually means bad news. I was planning on telling you all the horrible things going on with our infrastructure. Like, the Highway Trust fund is running out of money because we refuse to raise taxes. Or like that lack of investment is causing things like our usual D grade in roads from the American Society of Civil Engineers, and the usual murmurings about possibly finding better ways to fund our transportation.

But you know what? That’s all just too depressing. So here’s one dude’s idea for solving road problems, infrastructure problems, energy problems  — hell, just about all our problems — in one go.

Welcome to Solar Roadways — roads that not only hold up your cars but generate electricity and communicate with drivers and recharge electric cars and, I suppose, play quarterback for the Cleveland Browns all at once.

There’s a lot of cool stuff here, and the Federal Highway Agency has funded this pie-in-the-sky-sounding thingy to a degree. So we can hope. I kinda stick with this guy, who is somewhat skeptical until we see how glass roadways hold up under about two skillion overloaded semis pounding over them for a few years. But like everyone else, I’m anxious to be proved wrong.

Anyhow, it’s fun to think about. And it’s nice to have something to take our mind off the fact that we no long pay enough taxes to keep up our roads and we don’t look likely to do anything about that.

Happy Infrastructure Week!

 

 

Scott Huler About the Author: A writer who commonly explores science, culture, and the relationship between the two. Follow on Twitter @huler.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.





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