Assemblyman Gatto Successfully Persuades the California Energy Commission to Install Piezoelectric Roads
Sacramento, CA – Shortly after being elected, Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles) had a conversation with a friend who had just returned from Israel. Expecting to hear emotional descriptions of religious sites, Gatto was surprised to hear his friend rave instead about a road that produced energy.
After researching the issue, Gatto learned that engineers in Israel, Italy, and Japan had successfully installed piezoelectric sensors underneath roadways and railways. Those sensors, the size of watch batteries, are in effect the reverse of sonar: a vibration comes in, and an electric pulse comes out. In 2011, Assemblyman Mike Gatto introduced AB 306, which would have implemented two piezoelectric pilot projects on California freeways, but the legislation was vetoed by Governor Brown. Undeterred, Gatto asked the California Energy Commission (CEC) to study the issue. Today, after years of research, the CEC announced it would be funding multiple piezoelectric pilot projects throughout California.