Solar FREAKIN' Roadways!

This Youtube video is making the rounds on FB. Sounds awesome, but the Dope has never met an idea it couldn’t stab in the stomach.

What are the downsides?

I know the idea's been around for a long time, but this is the first glitzy video I've seen.

My guess the downside is money.

I sure wouldn’t want to ride my motorcycle on pressure sensitive glass.

Here’s the FAQ:

Bicycles and motorcycles shouldn’t be a problem, but tons more testing and development will be required. They suggest starting with parking lots and things.

Interesting idea, but it sounds like it’s already underway; they got funding to build prototypes, they’ll see how well they work, make improvements, etc.

I just wanna smack the guy who made that video, though.

It’s simplified for mass consumption and crowdfunding attention grabbing. I don’t blame him.

I don’t mind it being simplified, I mind it being smarmy and annoying.

But the world will finally look like Tron!

ETA: and covered in blinking LED advertising.

I wonder if there’s a single big brain among them who’s spent a few years building and repairing roads. Seems unlikely. They probably just Googled some stuff and went back to being cool and brassy and crowdfunded.

You say engineers tested it for skid resistance. What is the skid number or pavement friction factor? Regular asphalt and concrete will polish over time and lose friction. How will this system’s performance change over time?

When water gets through cracks or joints in pavement, it can remove finer subgrade material through an action called ‘pumping.’ This is when the pavement surface moves and compresses the subgrade, forcing water out through the cracks and bringing the fines with it, thereby creating more voids, which permits larger material to be removed, creating larger voids… this leads to pavement failure. How are you sealing all those hexagons to protect the subgrade?

How are they interlocking to prevent differential movement?

How will the surface be affected by studded tires or tire chains?

How does it deal with wear from plows?

How is the system sealed against water intrusion? Oil? Gasoline?

Solar panels actually drain the sun of it’s energy!

I’m reading this trying to find the catch…“the study was commissioned in August 2011 by the Halliburton corporation”…there it is.

I hope the people that actually did the study are laughed out of the scientific community.

Don’t know.

Don’t know.

Don’t know.

You won’t need studded tires and chains.

You won’t need plows.

Part of the system is channeling water to reclamation facilities and electric cars don’t spill gasoline or as much oil, I presume.

I’d guess that at least initially you’d use this in areas zoned against heavy industrial traffic. For instance, maybe areas also used for self-driving electric Google cars around Silicon Valley or something.

LOL. I also heard wind turbines will slow down the Earth, leading to OMG DOOMZ!

Not even in icy or snowy conditions? Or this limited to sunnier climates only?

I like the “you don’t need to paint it, we’ll just program lights for lanes, signals, et cetera.” Yeah, that’ll be great the first time a controller has a kernel panic and several miles of roadway has a system fault. And seriously, concrete conduits running on both sides of every road for cable lays? Does the narrator have any idea of the ecological impact of laying that much concrete, or what it would take to keep those tunnels clear of water and debris during rainy seasons?

Programmable, solar-powered roads are a neat concept, but until the technology is simple and robust enough to be laid down in bulk like macadam, it isn’t remotely feasible as anything but a novelty.


That article is clearly some kind of joke.

…says some unidentified person supposedly associated with the “Wyoming Institute of Technology”, for which the only search hit of any kind is the linked article mentioning it. Anyway, I’d love to hear more; I bet any attempt at a technical explanation would make Time Cube guy sound rational.

To, I’m sure, no one’s surprise, there is no such press release on Halliburton’s public web site. Check it out.

Seeing the storms that come down in the Sierra Nevada mountains, that’s just wishful thinking.

This is precisely the kind of New Wonder that will work perfectly… on the streets of the tech campus where it was invented.

At best - at optimal, best-case, very-very best - it will work in a few limited situations like suburban plazas, tech campuses, universities and other already high-maintenance, intensive-care locations. Never for miles of real roads in the rest of the world.

And every car’s shadow cuts power output. Might want to factor that in.

Its Tank Flattened Microprocessors!
But what are they?
They’re Tank Flattened Microprocessors!
But but… what are they…?
They’re Tank Flattened Microprocessors!

Because if you think that flattening microprocessors and driving over them with trucks the weight of tanks every 3 seconds for years on end with little or no road repairs or maintenance will mean free energy & Monster Truck Shows for all,
you may just be that person PT Barnum was alluding to.

“But what are…” BANG

…another senseless stupidity-related death…

Wait till Elon Musk gets thinkin’:smiley: Mag-Lev skateboards for everyone! Roads for high speed pizza delivery only!

The forgot to mention that since “Solar Freakin’ Roadways” are modular that they can be repaired by robotic trucks that lift the old segments off and install new ones.