Driving on Plastic Roads?

The advent of paved roads was no doubt greatly appreciated by drivers used to driving on dirt and gravel surfaces. Even today, drivers can appreciate the differences between paved and unpaved roads, in terms of noise, potential damage to a vehicle’s undersides, the impact of rain and snow, and overall traction.

But there’s a new surface in town, and it’s called plastic. That’s right, at some point in the future, we might be driving on the same material from which Legos® are made. At first, this sounds quite strange. But it turns out that plastic roads have several potential benefits.

First, they may last a lot longer. Early estimates indicate that a plastic road will last about three times as long as a paved road. Second, plastic roads are expected to be more durable, having additional resistance to cracking and potholes.

Third, they are hollow, allowing wiring and pipes to be run right underneath their surface, making infrastructure expansion somewhat easier. Fourth, the roads can be installed quickly, as they can be assembled off-site, then simply delivered and installed.

Lastly, they can be created from recycled plastic, aiding in efforts to reduce the environmental impacts of motor vehicles and the surfaces on which they move. Although plastic roads are in the testing phase right now (in Rotterdam, in the Netherlands), driving instructors may want to monitor this development, “down the road.”

More information at: http://www.engadget.com/2015/07/19/plastic-roads/