As car advancements seem to keep pushing boundaries, some people have asked the questions on why roads have not improved as well to match all the futuristic car designs and functions. Some of those people have already started development of new road designs and most of them are viable, but some are expensive in resources and money.
Glow in the Dark
In the Netherlands, there are roads that have the paint coated with glow in the dark paint so that the road is always lit. The glow in the dark paint “charges” up during the day and will glow for 8 hours every night. The problem with this is that the glow in the dark paint is not coated evenly, so certain parts of the road are hardly lit at all. But this seems like an easy problem to solve and a relatively inexpensive advancement.
This is another possible advancement, but it will be more expensive and more time to tear down old roads and put in these glass solar panels. Glass may sound dangerous and fragile, but glass can be made to be stronger than steel. Glass is highly renewable, so that is not a problem either. These solar powered roadways will melt snow, have LED lights in the shape of road paint, and will give you more traction.
For these lights to work, they require a few things. These lights would have to be at the sides (walls) and will only be activated once the draft from an incoming car hits the pinwheels inside the fans that will turn wind power into electricity. The problem with this is that a car has to be traveling fast enough to get a sufficient draft and not all the fans will be equally lit because they are dependent on the speed of the car.
What about motion sensing lights? These lights seem the most viable and also some of the coolest lights that are being developed. The trade-back is that they are best suited for highways that are not so heavy in traffic because they won’t be lit for hours due to traffic. As cars get closer, the lights in front of the car will become brighter and the ones behind the car will slowly dim. It seems better than the lights we have right now that will randomly stop working at times.
Electricity Priority Lane
The obvious downfall of this road alternative is that it only helps electric vehicles. There will be a lane specifically for electric vehicles that can charge a car while on the road. The road would produce magnetic fields that would supply the car with sufficient battery life as you drive. Countries such as the Netherlands would benefit highly from this, but other countries such as the U.S would have to heavily convert to electric vehicle in order for this to be cost effective.
We hope to see at least one of these advancements put into play within the next 15 years because it only seems logical to make both our cars and roads better.