‘Solar FREAKIN’ Roadways!’ Need we say more?

Solar roadways (Courtesy: Scott Brusaw YouTube)
Solar roadways (Courtesy: Scott Brusaw YouTube)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Solar Roadways are paving the path to the road of the bright sci-fi future.

Invented by an engineering couple in 2006, this technology has the ability to replace roadways, parking lots, sidewalks, driveways, tarmacs, bike pads and outdoor recreational spaces with solar panels, according to Scott Brusaw’s YouTube video.

Indiegogo’s website says these are “solar panels that you can drive, park, and walk on. They melt snow and … cut greenhouse gases by 75 percent?!!!”

Based out of San Francisco, Indiegogo is an international crowdfunding site.

The Solar Roadways panels are equipped with smart, microprocessing solar units that interlock. They’re also called “intelligent” solar panels, which you can reportedly replace a panel at a time if damaged.

In the Brusaw’s video, you can see these solar panels are covered with new, tempered glass material — “designed and tested to meet all impact, load and traction requirements.”

Tractor driving over panels

Even neater – particularly for those in the North – these panels heat themselves. That means no more ice or snow on roads or the need to shovel a driveway.

Most importantly, they also come with LED lights that can be reprogrammed.

They can be implemented on the highway to have helpful signage on the road or helpful lighting at night.

They’re even pressure-sensitive. So they can light up when animals, like moose, are crossing the road – potentially avoiding a deadly wreck.

Brusaw’s video says these solar panels will pay for themselves — because they generate electricity and can save taxpayers millions in transportation costs. He says that also means these panels will lower the cost of energy, which will be clean, green energy.

Check out more of Brusaw’s idea and how to contribute to his Indiegogo effort, which has already raised 164 percent more than his $1 million goal. The campaign, which started in late April, closes on June 20.

By the way, they reportedly were awarded a contract from the Federal Highway Administration to build two prototypes, which are now complete.

In-Depth: Solar Roadways facts on Indiegogo site

  • Solar Roadways has received two phases of funding from the U.S. Federal Highway Administration for research and development of a paving system that will pay for itself over its lifespan. We are about to wrap up our Phase II contract to build a prototype parking lot and now need to raise funding for production. 
  • Our glass surface has been tested for traction, load testing, and impact resistance testing in civil engineering laboratories around the country, and exceeded all requirements.
  • Solar Roadways is a modular system that will modernize our aging infrastructure with an intelligent system that can become the new Smart Grid. We won the Community Award of $50,000 by getting the most votes in GE’s Ecomagination Challenge for “Powering the Grid” in 2010. We had the most votes again in their 2011 Ecomagination Challenge for “Powering the Home.”
  • On Aug. 21, 2013, Solar Roadways was selected by their peers as a Finalist in the World Technology Award For Energy, presented in association with TIME, Fortune, CNN, and Science.
  • Solar Roadways was chosen by Google to be one of their Moonshots in May of 2013. 
  • Solar Roadways was chosen as a finalist in the IEEE Ace Awards in 2009 and 2010.
  • Solar Roadways has given presentations around the country including: TEDx Sacramento, Google’s Solve for X at Google’s NYC Headquarters, NASA, Keynote Speaker for the International Parking Institute’s Conference and much more…
  • Solar Roadways is tackling more than solar energy: The FHWA tasked us with addressing  the problem of stormwater. Currently, over 50 percent of the pollution in U.S. waterways comes from stormwater. We have created a section in our Cable Corridors for storing, treating, and moving stormwater.
  • The implementation of our concept on a grand scale could  create thousands of jobs in the U.S. and around the world. It could allow us all the ability to manufacture our way out of our current economic crisis.
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