Smart Streets: The Highway Is Getting Brighter

The painted road markings are said to be able to glow up to eight hours in the dark.Credit: Roosegaarde

The painted road markings are said to be able to glow up to eight hours in the dark.
Credit: Roosegaarde

There has been a great deal of debate and innovation in smart cars recently, but why just stop at the car? Why not make a smart highway?

At least that’s the question Dutch developer Heijmans and designer Daan Roosegaard are asking. Since 2012 the duo have been talking about and drumming up game plans for innovative designs that would improve road sustainability, safety, and perception.

These ideas include: electric priority lane, which would allow electric cars to charge themselves while driving; dynamic paint, which would glow or become transparent upon sensing temperature in order to let you know road conditions; and interactive light, which would be controlled by sensors to active only when traffic approaches in order to create sustainable road light.

But the company’s main, and most tangible, development is their glow-in-the-dark lining.

This from Wired:

Roosegaard first unveiled the concept for the glowing roads in 2012. Since then he’s worked with Dutch company Heijmans to develop a luminous paint up to the task. Roosegaard says the stuff is like a supercharged various of traditional glowing paint, which uses luminescent powder to absorb solar energy.

Read the full article here.

However, developers are not saying how the paint is made, only claiming that it will last up to eight hours after being charged in the sun.

Now, the durability and usability of this product is being put to the test. A 20 mile stretch of road in the Netherlands will be outfitted with the paint to measure the effectiveness before the developers start premiering the product to other countries and clients.

Some see this innovation as a tool, while others see it as more of a spectacle.

Want to know what else is being done with luminescent materials? Head over to the Digital Library and read the latest research.

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