Just a few days ago, my robotics coach showed me this video and I’ve watched it a few times since, simply because I think it’s a cool and mildly funny video to watch.
To me, the concept of Solar Roadways seemed farfetched at first. In some ways, I guess I always just felt that it was too futuristic-y to be a reasonable and realistic alternative to concrete and asphalt. But after watching this video, I am more convinced that this could be a plausible alternative to the very primitive way we construct roads. And consider this for a second. Asphalt and concrete are prone to breaking and busting up (this is a known fact) but what about cobble-stone? I mean sure its a more rickety surface to drive down, but in terms of wear and tear, it takes much much longer to truly damage a cobble stone road. Why is this? Because it’s a freakin stones!! Ever been to Puerto Rico? Many of the streets there are cobble stone, and while yes they are a bit lumpy and in many cases bowing or rutted, they were also built by-hand 500 years ago! Most asphalt and concrete streets need maintenance every few years and should be replaced every 10-20 years. But these cobblestones are still kickin it over 500 years later, with little fixing needed. Now what about Solar Roadways? Wouldn’t they need fixing too? In my humble opinion – no probably not. The tiles are made of a thick recycled glass, which much more closely resembles the cobble-stone than the asphalt. So I’m guessing that wear and tear would probably not be a major issue. Since this is the case, my whole worry about the durability of these roads goes completely out the window. So what are the down sides? Or as Peter Griffin might say:
Though there probably are some downsides to this idea, it is certainly a major leap forward in road construction technology, and may one day revolutionize how we make energy.
It seems that there is a great deal of merit in what this video and Solar Roadways have to say and offer. I hope to see more of this in the future!