My idea that I would want Elon Musk to “invent” is heated roads. More specifically I would want Musk to come up with a cost-effective way to heat roads and highways in order to melt snow and other inclement weather. It is clear in recent years that weather patterns have become somewhat strange. Parts of the northeast (US) have been hit with several feet of snow. Perhaps even more worrisome is that many areas of the south have also been hit with snow, and they are not nearly as prepared to remove it.
Heated roads and highways would provide a much safer travelling experience all over the country, and potentially the world. Millions of Americans could be positively impacted by this kind of innovation. It is not the first time this idea has been proposed. This article shows that scientists and engineers have tried to develop new kinds of roads that could melt roads, but progress has yet to really been seen. I propose a way to heat the current roads that we have now.
The most important aspect to this idea is cost-effectiveness. The cost of installing Musk’s new heating system in roads would have to be less than the current budget for snow removal services such as plows and salt. The project must have a positive NPV. Additionally, the burden of construction would have to outweighed by the benefits of effectively safer roads. I do not possess the know-how needed to invent such a system, otherwise I would not be asking Elon Musk to invent it for me, but I would imagine that he could come up with an easy way to insert an easily heated material underneath the gravel of roads and highways that could then be activated and initiated from above ground.
If implemented properly, this system could save lives as well as make travelling easier on a daily basis in the winter time. If Elon Musk could figure out a way to heat roads on an affordable basis, then many people could be positively impacted.
Featured Image: http://www.autoguide.com/auto-news/2012/11/how-to-drive-on-snow-and-ice-winter-driving-safety-tips.html