Road

  • The sodium chloride that's commonly used to de-ice highways is harmful to the environment, plus it corrodes both road materials and vehicles' metal bodies. There may soon be a kinder, gentler alternative, though – made from discarded grape skins.
  • ​When it comes to recycling plastic waste, the Dutch are a pretty inventive bunch. We've seen office furniture fashioned from Amsterdam's canal waste, and plastic trash street furniture too. Now the first cycle path constructed using recycled plastic has opened in the municipality of Zwolle.​
  • The Swedish Transport Administration has just opened a 2-km (1.2-mi) stretch of electrified road that works like slot cars. The project, dubbed eRoadArlanda, involves embedding electric rails into the road surface to power electric vehicles through a contact arm hanging down from under the car.
  • It's getting to the point where it seems like adding a dash of graphene can improve just about anything. The latest example is something you probably wouldn't expect to benefit from the addition of the wonder material – asphalt.
  • The 6 trillion cigarettes produced every year generate over 1.2 million tonnes of toxic butt litter in the environment. Now, researchers at RMIT University in Australia have found a new way to safely dispose of cigarette butts: seal them up inside roads and paths.
  • ​Salt may indeed keep winter roads free of ice, but it also actively degrades them. There may be a way out of the conundrum, however. A scientist has been experimenting with making "salt-proof" concrete that incorporates waste products generated by coal furnaces and the smelting process.
  • Renault, Qualcomm Technologies and sustainable transportation company Vedecom recently demonstrated a dynamic wireless electric vehicle charging (DEVC) system – it lets electric cars draw power from the road, as they're in motion.
  • This week is UN Road Safety Week, which highlights road traffic deaths and injuries and focuses on ways to reduce them. This year the week is headlined by the #SlowDown campaign, which is part of a plan to reduce road fatalities by 50 percent before 2020. Its suggestion? Lower speed limits.
  • French Minister Ségolène Royal has today officially launched a kilometer long solar road project in Normandy. Nearly 3,000 Wattway panels are expected to produce an average of 767 kWh of electricity per day, peaking in summer months to as much as 1,500 kWh.
  • Researchers have developed a process that uses pig manure as a low-cost replacement for petroleum in the production of road asphalt. In searching for bio alternatives, the group discovered that swine waste is especially rich in oils very similar to petroleum suited for asphalt production.
  • Melbourne folk do love their coffee, and one day the beverage mightn't be just pepping them up for a day's work. Swinburne University researchers have scoured the campus' cafes for coffee grounds and used them as part of the mix for a more sustainable road material. ​​
  • Ford has taken to solving the problem of potholes by creating a suspension system that reads the road and prepares the car's dampers for the hit, making for a smooth ride in the cabin.