Think the asphalt in the ground can't be high tech? Think again. If an associate professor of environmental engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute gets his way, snow-covered roads and abandoned cars left in snowpocalypses could be a thing of the past.
Professor Rajib Mallick's idea is to have "pipes that are filled with freeze-resistant fluids embedded in pavement, which will be heated by the sun and stored in an insulated chamber." When a blizzard drops from the sky, the heated fluid would be discharged, melting any snow that would blanket the roads. Mallick estimates the project would cost about $12,500 for every 164-feet of pipe and should be able to recoup its costs after six months.
Mallick's plan is an ambitious one, but one that would definitely prevent entire cities from nearly shutting down (like New York City) from snowfall. In addition to the snow-melting goodness, the heating fluid could also be used to create electricity for nearby buildings. Sounds like the embedded roads would even be beneficial during the sunnier seasons.
There's no reason for these roads not to be built. The only matter is how can Mallick get the funding to pull it all off.