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Cars road of future infographic

Published on July 13th, 2013 | by Zachary Shahan

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Road Of The Future (Infographic)

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July 13th, 2013 by Zachary Shahan
 
We’ve written about recycling roads, smart roads that light up at night & look different in different weather conditions, solar-powered bike lanes and roads, and wireless EV highway systems (even one being put in place right now). This infographic below from Car Loans 4U features all these things and a few more. Check it out & share with friends:

road of future infographic

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About the Author

is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy since 2009. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he's the founder and director of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to ZacharyShahan.com and click on the relevant buttons.



  • Ivor O’Connor

    How much more would it cost to make the roads safe for traffic at 200mph? Then put in some rules like move to the right when you are not passing. And keep a minimum of two seconds between you and the car ahead or get an automated ticket. I’m saying adopt the German system where the roads are safe by design and that they pay for themselves via automated ticketing for those too stupid to use common sense.

  • http://facebook.com/FalconFour Matt Falcon

    Hmm. The “solar powered roads” concept was an outright fabrication from a right-wing smear campaign on eco-freaks’ gullibility, so I wonder why that one made it in here (it worked, clearly). It’s so far out of technical feasibility in every way, it’s amazing anyone actually took them seriously… but the rest of those are pretty cool! :D

    • Bob_Wallace

      Got a link to background on the fabrication stuff?

      • http://facebook.com/FalconFour Matt Falcon

        No source that I’ve seen, but it’s pretty obviously fake. Paving roads in glass with fragile, expensive solar panels? Is anyone really thinking this all the way through? Just a systems analysis breakdown of the whole idea puts it far enough out in whacko-land that the only possible explanation is a scam.

        The poor-quality, hacked-together website built for it (http://solarroadways.com/intro.shtml ) paints a clear picture of a politician that either bought head-first into a starry-eyed “promised me the moon” eco-nut’s dream, someone that knew nothing of the technology they’re speaking of… or a politician that’s just trying to see how gullible we actually are.

        Everything else, perfectly reasonable concepts (except piezoelectric power and wireless charging, which are also a little “out there”, but still plausible). I drive the Nissan LEAF myself, dream of owning a Tesla, and drool over the Mercedes electric supercar, and I know solar power and other renewable energy (not natural gas and hydrogen) are the solutions for the long term. But I also know we’re being played for damn fools with the “solar roads” game.

        • Bob_Wallace

          Wireless charging is not so “out there”. It’s already done with parked vehicles.

          And researchers at Stanford seem to think that charging while rolling is possible…

          “A Stanford University research team has designed a high-efficiency charging system that uses magnetic fields to wirelessly transmit large electric currents between metal coils placed several feet apart. The long-term goal of the research is to develop an all-electric highway that wirelessly charges cars and trucks as they cruise down the road.

          The new technology has the potential to dramatically increase the driving range of electric vehicles and eventually transform highway travel, according to the researchers. Their results are published in the journal Applied Physics Letters (APL).

          ….

          Although a power transfer efficiency of 97 percent is extremely high, Beiker and his colleagues want to be sure that the remaining 3 percent is lost as heat and not as potentially harmful radiation.”

          http://news.stanford.edu/news/2012/february/wireless-vehicle-charge-020112.html

          • http://facebook.com/FalconFour Matt Falcon

            Yep, I already know stationary wireless charging is possible (and already in use). That’s because the magnetic fields can be tightly coordinated between stationary objects. It’s the “in motion” part that’s difficult to swallow from a scientific/engineering standpoint. Moving out of one field into another would be the deal-breaker – doing so would be a pretty inconceivable task. The snip you quoted referred to the fact that pads several feet apart I take as meaning that the receiver and transmitter can be several feet apart – in a stationary system. People unfamiliar with the physics and technology involved seem all too willing to erroneously add “in motion!” to that implication.

            While time travel and teleportation are concepts that are easy to understand (relative to electrical concepts, I’ve observed), their ease of understanding doesn’t make them any less fictional (or easier to turn into reality). That’s why I think these ideas are cases of the “Telephone” game at best, and intentional deception at worst. However, car-sensing street light systems? That’s awesome. Glowing road markers? Super awesome. Recycled material made into roads? Definitely awesome! Lots of these things are very real. :)

    • http://zacharyshahan.com/ Zachary Shahan

      There are various solar road initiatives. To which one are you referring? And could you supply some links to info about the smear campaign?

      • http://zacharyshahan.com/ Zachary Shahan

        And more info on the SolaRoad one I linked to is available here: http://www.tno.nl/home.cfm?context=home&content=gsa&search=solaroad&zoekBtn=Zoeken

      • ThomasGerke

        I dunno if it’s an elaborate hoax or not, but it is a pretty stupid/silly idea in my opinion. ;-)

        The solar potential from multi-purpose integration of solar in other structures /areas is so increadibly abundant, that it’s bizarre to consider putting it into an enviroment with such massive amounts of physical stress.

        The whole idea that solar would need MORE space is really silly.
        In Germany approx. 200GW of solar are required for a 100% renewable energy(!) system. This requires only about 0.4-0.6% of the German land area.

        Streets cover 4.4% of the land area and buildings cover about 7%…. so where should we put the solar? mhhh ;-)

        • Bob_Wallace

          Paving the roads with solar panels has never made sense to me either.

          The idea seems to appeal to some people, but some people don’t seem to think past the whiz-bang of the initial idea.

          Putting a small wind turbine on your house to make your electricity sounds great. No one has been able to make a small turbine that produces cheap electricity but that doesn’t seem to deter some folks by getting excited by the next weird looking device that someone insists will do the job.

          I guess the market protects us from the really silly stuff….

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