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Netherlands making highways smart with paint that alerts drivers of weather conditions

In mid 2013, highways in the Netherlands will be getting a sort of a smart makeover. By using high tech paint, the highways markers will be much more visible in the dark, and in case of ice or snow, the roads will alert drivers to these conditions, which is especially helpful for ice that may be hard to see otherwise.

The Smart Highway by Studio Roosegaarde and infrastructure management group Heijmans won Best Future Concept at the Dutch Design Awards, and has already gone beyond pure concept. 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,” designer Roosegaarde explained, “but we teamed up with a paint manufacture and pushed the development. Now, it’s almost radioactive”.

Special paint will also be used to paint markers like snowflakes across the road’s surface — when temperatures fall to a certain point, these images will become visible, indicating that the surface will likely be slippery. Roosegaarde says this technology has been around for years, on things like baby food — the studio has just upscaled it.

The first few hundred metres of glow in the dark, weather-indicating road will be installed in the province of Brabant in mid-2013, 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.

Via


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