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Over the past couple of years, we've seen an increased focus on improving our roadways through the use of technology. Glow-in-the-dark streets powered by the sun are now a reality in the Netherlands, offering up increased visibility at night and decreasing the dependence on streetlights.
But there's still much more that can be done according to Scott and Julie Brusaw, founders of Solar Roadways. Their company is seeking to raise $1 million on Indiegogo to fund what they believe is the roadway building material of the future.
Their modular solar road panels would replace existing asphalt and offer up a number of improvements. For starters, they would be able to harness the sun's rays to generate electricity which could be used to power homes and businesses via connected driveways and parking lots.
The system would also include heating elements to keep roadways free of snow and ice during winter and LEDs that could be programmed to display signage and road lines that can adapt to traffic conditions on the fly. Each panel would be coated with a tempered glass surface that has already passed traction, impact resistance and load testing.
The solar road panels have reached prototype status but now they need more funding in order to bring in a team of specialists to help refine it even further and gear up for manufacturing.
It's certainly a neat idea with a ton of upside but at the same time, there's a tremendous amount of work that must still be done. With 23 days remaining in the campaign, Solar Roadways has only reached three percent of their funding goal thus far.