It looks like we're getting one step closer to having that future we've all imagined. You know, that future we all envisioned when we first played Sim City 2000. Or when we saw Blade Runner for the first time. We may not have flying, or even levitating, cars right now, but at least we're moving in the right direction. And thanks to prototypes like the Solar Powered Road, we can start to think that it may not be another 100 years before we get there.
Solar Roadways received a grant from the Department of Transportation last year, for $100,000, with the intent to build a road that can display warnings for pedestrians, as well as drivers. From the picture, you can see that the two children have stepped onto a panel that would reside in a crosswalk. Subsequently, the road in front of the drivers would light up with LEDs, displaying the message. In this case, you see "SLOW DOWN" displayed quite nicely, and easily read. The panels themselves also come with a heating unit, so that when it snows, the panels are still readable. Microprocessors within the panels work as the communication between panels. Basically, it sounds like Solar Roadways have covered all their bases.
Considering the company's hard work, we're not surprised that the company is up for an award. They are one of five selected for the 2010 EE Times ACE Award for the "Most Promising Renewable Energy Award." But, while we're excited to see this prototype in still images we're looking forward to the video which should be out later this month. And what's next for the company? They want to make parking lots, bike paths, and driveways out of the same panels. We're hoping that Solar Roadways does indeed get to see their panels in the real world, because we love the future. And, better options for safety.
[via Inventor Spot]