Alright everyone, I've been seeing a lot of people posting the video (see below) for Solar Roadways and I have a few things to say on the subject.
First of all, I fully support this idea and the technology behind it. To the point that I have donated, even if it's only $5, to see it completed. I would love to investigate this for my own driveway when I need to get it redone.
That being said, I do have some concerns about how the design will hold up to heavy/highway punishment. Ask another in the Oakland part of Pittsburgh how the bus lane on 5th Avenue looks and you will understand by the current design might need to be beefed up. I do think that the current design looks like it would work for the average small road, though. Just not anything that sees a lot of truck/bus traffic, or heavy commuter traffic.
Then there is the existing infrastructure to think about. I love how they have trenches on either side of the road to connect all the piping, electrical conduit, etc, but any of these services that are already there are under the current roadway. Moving them will be a HUGE expanse for the various municipal departments and utilities, not to mention the inconvenience to the standard homeowner. Remember, your water, gas and sanitary sewer would have to be SHUT OFF in order to move these things out from under the roadway and off to the side.
Lastly, if you think that any politician would even think of implementing untried technology on the public's dime, forget it. All the vast majority of politicians care about is keeping their job, and that means not rocking the boat. If you want to see this technology get out there and grow, private citizens and small business owners have to get it going. Yes, it will be expensive at first, but so is any new technology. The more demand there is, the more the investors will see that they can make money and mass production will start.
Is this the wave of the future? I believe it is. Can we wait for our public figures to do this for us? No, we can't. Private citizens, as with most innovations, have to push this kind of thing through and then the public sector will catch up.