Solar highways

Login to rate this video.

You can place this video on your website by inserting the (X)HTML code below:

Embed code:
<iframe src="" width="400" height="330" frameborder="0"></iframe>

You can email this video to your friends by entering their addresses below:

Your information:

add Add another recipient

Human verification:

People who liked this video also liked

Ultimate Parking Fails
The Ship That Flew: USS Plainview
Amish house move
The best rally onboards moments - Part 2
The mysterious isochronous curve
World’s MOST Unusual Cars EVER made, Found In One Warehouse | Barn Find Hunter


26 comments posted so far. Login to add a comment.

Expand all comments

Picture of soultanos52 achievements

+38 1. soultanos commented 12 years ago

I wanna see that in full scale though...
Picture of yurtb25 achievements

+38 2. yurtb commented 12 years ago

These guys are GENIUSES!

1. Wouldn't people steal the electronics from the roads?
2. what will happen if you have to replace LED's?

still, epic - I want this!!
Picture of deenajs42 achievements

+13 3. deenajs commented 12 years ago

This is really something :(|)
Must take years before all roads are replaced if this
great thing goes through! :)
Picture of marty44a13 achievements

+8 4. marty44a commented 12 years ago

Cool !
And If you drive over it it doesn't break ! :)
Picture of ComentAtor48 achievements

+10 5. ComentAtor commented 12 years ago

"Has to have same traction as asphalt!" - the one i see in a prototype is powersliders dream come true, because if you can see reflection there is no traction in a dry weather and it's suicidal in wet. and if you make a highly textured glass to be comparable to asphalt(which is beyond my understanding of possible) not only does it have to be extremly thick and expensive but also light refracts and LED signs are invisible.

"Has to be strong enough to support a fully loaded semi-truck" if anybody here has any expirience with laminated glass or safety glass they should know what thickness is needed for this, and of course - at what price?

"intelligent pavement that can.. pay for it self"
power output of the best solar panels today that cover 100% of surface are extremly inefficient compared to other sources of generating power so they need years to pay for them selves. and in this video.. solar panels are using 10% of the surface (i can't see even 1% in the prototype). so we have extremly high cost of each panel and incredibly low power output.
Picture of WildMonkey32 achievements

+5 6. WildMonkey commented 12 years ago

Stupid concept, too complex for a simpler substitute. Once solar panels start hitting around 50% efficiency (now they're at around 18-24%) you can put a 3m x 3m panel on your roof and it will be more than enough to run your house all day and night.

The problem isn't lack of area for solar panels, it's their efficiency, and not because we don't have the tech, it's because special interest groups (oil, duh) are delaying advancements by means of legislation, buying up patents, buying and dismantling companies and research centers. Sounds like conspiracy lunacy, but a good well documented place to start is by looking up what happened to the EV-1.
Picture of irishgek50 achievements

+6 7. irishgek commented 12 years ago

#5 agree this is a total absurd waste of time and energy , as you mentioned the glass and making it textured , solar panels rely on light making it textured would take down the efficiency. Also so would dirt and theres no way were going to wash the roads down on a daily basis.

The idea is good but the amount of problems to solve first are just too many , and why bother making the road out of it why not just build it over the road if you want to use that much solar panels , not only would you keep the road dry but you'd never need sun glasses again :P At a glance we wont ever see another clip from this guy in next 10 years or so thats for sure
Picture of ComentAtor48 achievements

+4 8. ComentAtor commented 12 years ago

#6 i watched the documentary, and don't take me that way, please, i don't want to spam this place. The textured surface + the proposed area covered + inefficiency together are highly unsolvable in next 10-20 years (i'm being optimistic)
There is also the matter of coef. of temperature expansion which close to that of steel which means that the dilatation between each panel would make driving insanely bumpy in cold weather, and also the expansion of different materials inside each panel would make it so hard to produce a panel which could withstand extremes in weather that.. i don't know what to say... i was shocked that they were founded to develop this idea .. it's just so wrong and expensive way to go.
the guy has some strong persuading powers. :)
and #7 thank you i completely forgot , efficiency of panels behind thick texture is today 0% we even tilt the panels to a ideal degree on our roofs so to have sun rays coming at 90° to surface.
i mean can you imagine what would happen if you put frosted glass over the panel? :)
Picture of dave919145 achievements

+6 9. dave9191 commented 12 years ago

The biggest problem I see is the roads getting dirty. I think issues like traction and material strengths can be solved. And the panels don't need to be that efficient, because there would be so many of them. The biggest issue would be cleaning the roads, you couldn't allow dust to settle on them as that would block the sun's rays. And worse still tire skid marks wouldn't go away that easily.
Picture of max200035 achievements

+5 10. max2000 commented 12 years ago

I only enjoyed the idea that the project was initially requested by the Transportation Department, not the Energy one, or a joint research bid coming from both. ;)
Picture of ComentAtor48 achievements

+6 11. ComentAtor commented 12 years ago

#9 ok, dirt may be a serious problem. but you have to look at each panel's efficiency just because of feasibility . If one panel costs a 1 000$ (today it would be around 200 000 if it was possible) and produces as little amounts as i described earlier nobody would invest in such a road. and the problem only multiplies with the number of panels. and if you solve traction you destroyed efficiency (unless the surface itself is a panel and i'm talking year 2050)..
but for a piece of city sidewalk in a highly insulated rich country, as a tourist attraction or an advertiesment.. i think it's plausible.. say ..downtown Barcelona,Sydney,Las Vegas.. why not?

OK, i gave this some more thought.. and maybe if we change the complete concept of carbon based tyres and driving and.. but it's sooo far away .. i'm sad i won't live to see it
Picture of prankphonecall44 achievements
Comment rated too low. Show this comment

-5 12. prankphonecall commented 12 years ago

Obviously they haven't heard of concrete!
Picture of LightAng3l49 achievements

+4 13. LightAng3l commented 12 years ago

So...what happens in winter when Ice forms on the glass? Do accident rates increase by 300% ?
Picture of ComentAtor48 achievements

+4 14. ComentAtor commented 12 years ago

almost the same thing that happens when ice forms on asphalt - you put some salt or you drive carefully ;)
Picture of kaleemyork38 achievements

-3 15. kaleemyork commented 12 years ago

ohooo today why your comments very long very long 8-)
Picture of Tehnol36 achievements

0 16. Tehnol commented 12 years ago

I'm glad somebody finally decided to try and make solar roads work, I can only hope major governing bodies wake up to the idea and take it on board globally...but they won't. Only when the graduates this man talks about at the end are the leaders of the world will anything change, and by then they may realise it's easier to make asphalt roads and damage the environment just like the last 60 years :(
Picture of agentreeko32 achievements

+2 17. agentreeko commented 12 years ago

i thought it was Chuck!
Picture of c2quad30 achievements

+1 18. c2quad commented 12 years ago

Gud jobz,Keep up :D
Picture of Neojack24 achievements

0 19. Neojack commented 12 years ago

Waaah that's an awesome idea!
So make Route 66 solar now 8-)
Picture of regata448 achievements

+1 20. regata4 commented 12 years ago

its a great idea but driving on glass is like driving on ice.... i wonder what they'll come up to tackle this issue
Picture of InfiniteBoredom19 achievements

0 21. InfiniteBoredom commented 12 years ago

Where do we start? I'll go get my soldering iron.
Picture of huldu34 achievements

0 22. huldu commented 12 years ago

Good idea really. In reality there is a cost to think of. These would be insanely expensive and to cover just a street somewhere with these, mind-blowing. How long would it even last! Eventually tires would tear these panels down. What about winter and stubs?

There are a lot of issues and problems to solve.
Picture of armageddon36 achievements

0 23. armageddon commented 12 years ago

what happens when someone decides to do some burnout???
Picture of joka23244 achievements

0 24. joka232 commented 12 years ago

Picture of eNdEmiOn0646333 achievements

-1 25. eNdEmiOn06463 commented 12 years ago

We could also start flying ;)

Would like to see something like this although I wouldn't want to see any kind of tracking system embedded.
They don't talk about cost eighter. The leds alone in that amount start to get quite expensive let alone solar panels.
Glass can be really strong especially if you take air out of the equation but I wonder if it still holds with traffic on it day in day out. And if it breaks how will it affect the electronics?
Bottom-line I think there are better surfaces to use than roads.
Picture of manxman29 achievements

0 26. manxman commented 11 years ago

two years ago? update, how far along are they now?