Spain has 165,483 kilometers (almost 103,000 miles) of roads, according to figures from the Ministry of Public Works and Transport. If we laid them all out, they would wrap around the Earth up to four times. This means that there is a large surface that we drive on every day, and this offers an opportunity for innovation. The key ingredient in all of these miles of road is asphalt. Though we hardly ever stop to think about it, we use it to move around or travel by road on a daily basis. Road surface innovations can also influence our safety and day to day lives.
Although natural deposits exist, the asphalt that is commonly used is obtained by refining petroleum. We move around on a mix of stones and bitumen, which is the glue that holds the mix together and is later put on roads and streets in the city. We are making strides in our commitment to reinventing and producing longer-lasting, safer asphalts. We have already begun working towards a circular economy, allowing the use of old road surfaces or pavements made from disused tires. The asphalt of the future is already here.