U.S. car maker are not making the connection between the environment and sales. What car maker is the greenest of all? Hyundai-Kia is the greenest automaker according to the latest study from the Union of Concerned Scientists.
The campaign that claims that greenhouse gases could be reduced 75% by paving roads and parking lots with solar pavers has over 33,000 funders. Solar Roadways plans to solar panels that can handle up to 250,000 pounds, heat up to melt snow, light up with LEDs to form lines in the road for bike lanes or crosswalks, have channels for water and create electricity. Funders can get metal mounting holes in a solar parking lot, pendants, glass panels, t-shirts, coffee mugs or tote bags. It’s called “Solar Freakin’ Roadways.”
Solar Roadways 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. They are wrapping up Phase II contract (to build a prototype parking lot) where the funding will be used.
The solar panels are covered by a tempered glass surface that has been tested for traction, load testing, and impact resistance testing in civil engineering laboratories around the country, and exceeded all requirements. The intelligent hexagon panels fit together like bathroom tile.
The company makes a lot of green and environmental claims
- It will pay for itself by generating electricity and instead of paying for power plants the money could be used for more solar road.
- Heating elements will melt ice.
- No pot holes, the material will not break.
- Embedded LEDs offer safer night driving.
- Storm water can be treated and transported.
- Data cables can be embedded in the system.
- Provides infrastructure for autonomous cars and EVs.
- Panels can transmit cell phone and data signals, buh-buh dead spots.
- Roads can post warnings of dangers ahead.
- Traffic can be monitored.
- No more green house gases or fossil fuels.
- Safer roads with fewer accident.
- Protects wildlife, Load cells in the Solar Road Panels can detect if something is on the surface of the panel, oncoming drivers will be warned via embedded LEDs of the danger ahead and will be given plenty of time to slow down. If there is crossing with many animals, data collected can show where a bridge can be built.
- Lower insurance and health costs.
- Better national security because the panels don’t show heat like generators do in battle.
Solar Roadways co-inventors and co-founders are Julie and Scott Brusaw. Scott is the engineer and Julie is a therapist.
The whole Solar Roadway buzz will be documented in a documentary film with its own website. The whole project appeals to dreamers. The only thing that has not been document is how much each panel will cost. Currently a 45 watt solar panel costs around $100 retail.
DMV will begin accepting applications on July 1, 2014. A $150 Non-refundable application fee includes permits for 10 vehicles and 20 drivers/operators per application. The application requires the make, model and vehicle identification numbers of the cars being tested.
The company found that early 50% of consumers planning to buy a car in the next 12 months value connected car features, especially by for luxury cars buyers such as Audi. The Audi A3 comes with 4 LTE connections from AT&T, it also features cell phone signal boosting.
This week has been a very news worthy week in the connected car space. News stories included the first deployment of 4G LTE in US cars, trade shows, a new research center and liability issues.
University of California, Riverside (UCR) is launching its Sustainable Integrated Grid Initiative to research renewable energy for batteries and electric/hybrid electric vehicles. UCR calls it the largest renewable energy project of its kind in California.
The University will celebrate Wednesday May 21 with a ceremony with viewing of an electric trolley, electric cars and an autonomous vehicle. There will be lab tours and demonstrations of solar energy, batteries and energy efficiency technologies. Student projects will showcased.
At CES, GM and OnStar announced OnStar AppShop for Chevy vehicles with the ability to book hotels on Priceline. Chevy cars and trucks were expected to have AT&T 4G LTE by the summer, with Kaliki audio news stand. At SXSW, the company announced Beats Music streaming would be in the Chevy AppShop while giving free rides around the festival. However, there is a delay and the open OnStar AppShop is closed for 2015 GM car models.
Apparently, there were “quality issues” for the apps and the AppShop will be delayed to insure a great user experience.