“It’s easier to put on a pair of shoes,” Chögyam Trungpa once remarked, “than to wrap the earth in leather.” Unfortunately, automobiles can’t wear shoes. If you want to get your two-ton metal carriage from point A to point B semi-safely at 60 miles an hour, good tires aren’t enough; someone is going to have to cover the ground with something other than dirt. In industrialized countries, that generally means paving the road with concrete or asphalt—turning a huge amount of urban real estate into, in effect, automobile tracks.
One Indiegogo campaign wants to change that by ultimately rebuilding every road in the United States out of solar panels, ending the country’s need for power plants (as this would generate three times the electricity currently in use), moving above-ground wire below ground, and, in a nutshell, changing everything. Here’s the video:
They’ve raised about AU$1.7M so far, and have already constructed prototypes using government grant funding. Actually repaving the road system of the world’s fourth-largest country is going to take considerable persuasion, billions of dollars (not just millions), no small amount of luck, and decades of effort, but they’re off to a promising start—if the design actually works on the scale they’re proposing.
For a rather comprehensive look all the problems, impracticalities and outright absurdity of ‘Solar Freakin Roadways’ see this excellent report from YouTube’s Thunderf00t. ~ Ben