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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Dutch Companies Imagine Glowing Highways Infused With Green Technology

Let's make our highway roads greener and smarter and ditch those street lights. This is what a couple of Dutch companies are developing designs for.

The Smart Highway is an interactive and sustainable concept being developed by Dutch designer Daan Roosegaarde and Heijmans Infrastructure. The design includes glowing highway lines, interactive traffic signs based on conditions and guide lights without the use of electricity.

The project was born back in 2012 when Studio Roosegaarde and Heijmans Infrastructure announced the Smart Highway. First prototypes made in 2013 used a special 'foto-luminising' powder to treat the glow-in-the-dark roads. The roads charge during daylight and self-illuminate at night for up to 10 hours.

Dynamic Paint is also used which illuminates based on temperature fluctuations. This enables the surface of roads to communicate relevant and adequate traffic information directly to drivers. For example, ice crystals become visible on the surface of the road when it's cold and slippery.

Back in 2013, glow-in-the-dark roads and dynamic paint were believed to be realized in 2014. The initial designs are ready for testing. One stretch of road in the Netherlands, about 0.3 miles long, is being used for that purpose. The futuristic highways are no where close to primetime as Government safety and durability tests are still to be conducted.

Another part of the concept are 'Induction Priority Lanes' which when driven on will recharge an electric car's batteries. There are also guide lights that illuminate from the wind draft created by moving cars. Sounds like the future isn't too far off anymore.

Watch these two videos...

Source: Studio Roosegaarde

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