Electric cars, autonomous buses and now solar roadways! Science fiction is no longer a word that means the future. The state of Missouri has announced that they will be first to install solar roadways. It’s a stretch on the historic Route 66 that will be fitted with the hi-tech invention.
You might remember us writing about a Solar Roadways Indiegogo campaign that raised over $2 million. The Brusaw couple who were behind the campaign showcased a technology far beyond our imagination. Well, that is now happening, and we are one step closer to a TRON reality.
The project is called Road to Tomorrow and is an initiative to implement future-building technologies today. The primary purpose of the project focuses on improvements like smart highways and renewable energy.
Project manager Tom Blair, Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) engineer said, “It gets Missouri and MoDOT prepared for 21st-century innovations. We expect them to be in place, I’m hoping, by the end of this year, maybe before the snow flies. If [Solar Roadway’s] version of the future is realistic, if we can make that happen, then roadways can begin paying for themselves.”
The solar roadways to be installed are panels that can communicate with each other and even cars. This makes the road highly intelligent and customizable. LEDs implemented inside the panels can be reprogrammed to alert drivers about obstacles on the road ahead etc.
Installing solar roadways is a huge leap towards a zero vision (where there are no traffic casualties for a whole year.) It is also a step closer to the environmentally friendly vision of everyone driving electric cars. These solar roadways can most likely be fitted with wireless charging devices to allow drivers of electrical cars to recharge their vehicles while driving.
Let’s hope that this first trial is successful so that more roads can be fitted with this science fiction-inspired technology. Solar Roadways, the company developing the solar roadways to be installed on Route 66, is based in Idaho. They design energy-generating roads made out of tempered glass.
So what do you think? Are you ready for a TRON reality where roads will be communicating with you? Let us know in the comment section below.