The burden of heavy traffic has become a permanent fixture of life in Los Angeles. For some it has become nearly unbearable. Southern California by far has the most amount of vehicles traveling it's congested freeways everyday in this country. What if there was a way to get back something from all the time you spent in traffic?
What if all these vehicles that were coming and going on these massive roadways were also generating energy for the city?
There has been some new headway made by the California Energy Commission to do this very thing. To achieve this they will use what's known as piezoelectric technology. This the use of specialized materials that can generate an electric charge when put under mechanical stress. Then the energy is collected, saved and put to other uses.
These materials would be installed into the heavily traversed roadways and would generate electrical charges from the vehicle vibrations. Leading this effort is Mike Gatto, a California Assembly Member. He has been pushing for this to be utilized for years and may have finally gotten his wish.
This energy supply could support many communities and save millions in the long run.
Experts say a 1.5-mile stretch of just a two-lane highway can power a thousand homes.
The sensors are set to be installed under stretches of roadway in Southern California as part of a test program in 2017.