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Sick Of Potholes? Self-Repairing Roads Could Also Charge Your Electric Car

By Brian Spaen

One of the many problems of our common streets is how quickly they can deteriorate. Cracks and potholes form, creating a dangerous environment for drivers and pedestrians. It can also be hard on vehicles by causing tears on the wheels. Scientists at the Delft University of Technology have been continuing to research self-repairing asphalt to extend the life of these roads, and there’s also a chance that this substance can charge electric vehicles as they become more of the standard.

The unique asphalt has already been tested on multiple roads in the Netherlands and in China. Since opening the first public road seven years ago, all of them are still in great shape. This self-repairing asphalt technically doesn’t do everything by itself, however. There’s a machine that features an induction motor that rolls across it and the steel fibers inside of the substance will heat up and it’ll expand to repair any cracks or other openings that have been created.

Instead of needing to close down roads for days or weeks at a time, which creates even more traffic headaches and potentially dangerous situations, all it would take is the process of heating this asphalt up. It would also be cheaper in the long term when compared to the resources required to repair roads now. While the cost would be bigger initially, Angela Chen of The Verge reports that “it could save the Netherlands 90 million Euros a year if all the roads used this material.”