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Together with Simon Jorritsma, a civil engineer working for Dutch company KWS Infra, this two-man team has developed a road surface made of recycled plastic. They’re convinced the plastic road will pave the way of the future.

How did you come up with the idea of making roads out of plastic? We were looking for an alternative to asphalt, which mainly consists of bitumen. That is derived from oil, which will at some stage run out. We discard tons of plastic every year, plus it has various advantages compared with asphalt. For example? The plastic road consists of modules and can therefore be built about three times as fast as a conventional road. It is also much easier to repair. The material is considerably more durable than asphalt and is likely to last three times as long, which means the overall costs will be lower. We can also integrate cavities into it.

Doesn’t plastic tend to become slippery? You can solve that problem by adding sand, but we would prefer to fi nd the answer by using the material itself. A bigger problem is the fact that plastic expands and contracts as the temperature changes. We either have to artificially maintain the road surface at an even temperature or make the plastic mixture temperature-resistant.

WALK ON THE WILD SIDE

When will we start driving on plastic roads? If we can fi nd the right partners, the fi rst pilot roads could be tested in two to three years’ time. A couple of years later, the fi rst plastic public road would come into use.

Smell the fresh air, taste the icy mountain water and feel the touch of New Zealand’s unspoilt natural landscapes with a new partnership from Google. This sees the tech giant teaming up with the country’s Department of Conservation to harness Street View technology to highlight seven of New Zealand’s most stunning and iconic walks and treks to people all over the world. What’s the benefit? Anyone thinking of taking a journey to Middle Earth can experience some of the beauty of the landscape thanks to 360 degree panoramic views, while those who don’t have the time to make the physical journey now, can still get a virtual taste of what New Zealand’s great outdoors has to offer.

PHOTOS SHUT TERSTOCK (1), COURTESY GOOGLE ILLUSTRATION JULIA PELZER

What’s the point of the cavities? Pipes and cabling could easily be laid through them. They also gather rainwater and help it run off, which avoids flooding.

G O O G L E . C O M / M A P S / S T R E E T V I E W/ # G R E A T - W A L K S - O F - N E W - Z E A L A N D

10 Mercedes-Benz magazine

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2/02/16 3:39 PM

Profile for Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes-Benz magazine, issue 1, 2016  

Mercedes-Benz magazine Issue 1, 2016

Mercedes-Benz magazine, issue 1, 2016  

Mercedes-Benz magazine Issue 1, 2016