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Netherlands to install glowing roads by mid-2013

New highway to be equipped with road markers that luminesce by night

Weather indicators resembling snowflakes will warn drivers of potentially slippery conditions at low temperatures.
Weather indicators resembling snowflakes will warn drivers of potentially slippery conditions at low temperatures.

A new highway in the Netherlands with glow-in-the-dark lane markers and weather indicators is set to be installed mid-2013, after steps were taken to put the futuristic concept into production.

The idea for this "Smart Highway" was developed by Daan Roosegaarde, of Studio Roosegaarde and Heijmans Infrastructure, and won the Best Future Concept at the Dutch Designer Awards.

The photo luminescent paint that charges in the sunlight, which can provide it with a capability to glow in the dark for up to 10 hours during the night. To view a video illustrating the technology, click here

“It’s like the glow-in-the-dark paint you and I had when we were children,” Roosegaarde told Wired, “but we teamed up with a paint manufacturer and pushed the development.”

Weather indicators resembling snowflakes will also be painted onto the road, appearing when temperatures drop below a certain point to warn drivers of potentially slippery conditions.

“Research on smart transportation systems and smart roads has existed for over 30 years, call any transportation and infrastructure specialist and you’ll find out yourself,” Emina Sendijarevic of Studio Roosegaarde told Wired.

“What’s lacking is the implementation of those innovations and making those innovations intuitive and valuable to drivers. Heijmans and Roosegaarde are not going to wait any longer for innovations to find their way through the political system, but will start building this highway now.”

The innovation could potentially provide a cost efficient way to illuminate roads compared with other proposals such as dimmers, and would also providing additional safety features for drivers.

In total, the studio has around 20 ideas that will eventually be rolled out and has already received inquiries from countries across the globe, with India particularly keen on account of its blackouts.

Other novel ideas include roadside lights powered by pinwheels that light up using the draft produced by passing cars and then turn off after the car has passed.

It has also been proposed that induction coils could be placed under the tarmac in a priority lane to charge electric cars as they drive.


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