Road trippers driving along Route 66 sometime next year might be in for a 21st century treat: a road made of solar panels.
Idaho startup Solar Roadways will be installing tempered-glass solar panels to a section of Route 66 in Missouri later this year. The panels contain LED lights that create the typically-painted lines and signs on the road, and uses a heating element to melt any snow.
Solar Roadways says it has already completed two contracts in partnership with the U.S. Department of Transportation. “Our goal is to modernize the infrastructure with modular, intelligent panels, while producing clean renewable energy for homes and businesses,” the company says on its website. “We’ll be able to charge electric vehicles with clean energy from the sun, first on our solar parking lots and when we have enough highway infrastructure, while driving.”