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Netherlands highways will glow in the dark

Categorie(s): News, Saving Energy

A smart road design that features glow in the dark tarmac and illuminated weather indicators will be installed in the Netherlands. “One day I was sitting in my car and I was amazed by these roads we spend millions on but no one seems to care what they look like and how they behave,” the designer behind the concept, Daan Roosegaarde said. “I started imagining this Route 66 of the future where technology jumps out of the computer screen and becomes part of us.”

The Smart Highway by Studio Roosegaarde and infrastructure management group Heijmans won Best Future Concept at the Dutch Design Awards.. The studio has developed a photo-luminising powder that will replace road markings — it charges up in sunlight, giving it up to ten hours of glow-in-the-dark time come nightfall. “It’s like the glow in the dark paint you and I had when we were children,” Roosegaarde explained.

Special paint will also be used to paint markers like snowflakes across the road’s surface — when temperatures fall to freezing point, these images will become visible, indicating that the surface will likely be slippery. This technology has been around for years, on things like baby food .

The first few hundred metres of glow in the dark, weather-indicating road will be installed in the province of Brabant , followed by priority induction lanes for electric vehicles, interactive lights that switch on as cars pass and wind-powered lights within the next five years.

The idea is to not only use more sustainable methods of illuminating major roads, thus making them safer and more efficient, but to rethink the design of highways at the same time as we continue to rethink vehicle design.

All together, the studio has around 20 ideas that will eventually be rolled out and it has had inquiries from countries across the globe — “India is really keen on it; they have a lot of blackouts there, it would be hallelujah to them“. 

source: kennislink March 20th 2013