Can we use environmental technology to save lives, money, and the environmental costs of replacing totaled automobiles? Yes...and we can do it with those little reflector bumps in roads. England has begun installing SolarLite Smart Studs on some of their darker stretches of road. The solar studs have a little solar panel in them, along with an LED light and traditional reflecting surface.
Drivers on the retrofitted roads enjoy 10 times more visibility (90 meters to 900 meters) with the new in-road lights. And drivers have a resulting 10 times more time to adjust to changes in road direction. Even better, the lights, in some scenarios, can replace overhead street lamps, completely eliminating the need for the roads to be on the electric grid.
The lights last about ten years, and after that they are just as useful as the old studs used to be. Preliminary tests in England have shown a 70% decrease in nighttime accidents.
The parent company, Astucia, doesn't have any plans to sell to the U.S. yet, but I can think of a few roads here in Montana that could definitely use an upgrade.
written by Butch, November 27, 2007
written by Jonathan Robins, December 17, 2008
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