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Can Solar Power Make Winter Roadways Safer?

Sometimes there are advances in technology that significantly impact commercial trucks, even though they are not a part of the truck itself. Technology that affects the roadways--where semi-truck drivers spend most of their time--can provide valuable benefits to the trucking industry. Incredibly advanced solar panels make it possible to apply the benefits of solar power to the roadway.

Solar Roadways is a company founded by a husband-and-wife team with an innovative vision that combines solar tiles and asphalt roads. Recently installed tiles have allowed for the first trial of solar roadway technology in Sandpoint, Idaho. The team plans to conduct six or seven more trials in various locations to test performance and find any glitches or problems that need to be fixed in order to create the ideal solar tile for mass manufacturing within the next year.     

The tiles each contain a 44-watt solar panel and are designed to heat themselves, which means they'll work year-round no matter how cold the weather gets. The tiles ability to generate heat will eliminate the need for snow plows in certain areas, and provide a much safer driving surface, especially for commercial trucks. The tempered glass coating on the tiles is durable enough to withstand the weight of commercial trucks, and tiles are outfitted with LED lights that replace painted lane markers. The tiles are fairly easy to change--replacing broken tiles or construction to a road will not require any extreme, time-consuming changes.     

Solar technology on roadways can make the roads a much safer place for all drivers, and will undoubtedly make driving in tough, snowy conditions a little easier for commercial truck drivers. The Solar Roadways team hopes to extend these solar tiles into parking lots in the future, where they would charge electric cars while their owners are at work or in a store. Please feel free to contact us to learn more about advances in technology that will be extremely beneficial to the semi-truck industry.