London: Roads that glow in the dark, and which could one day even charge electric cars, are set to be introduced in the Netherlands from next year
‘Smart Highways’ unveiled last week at Dutch Design Week will use the latest technologies in roads their designers claim will be “more sustainable, safe and intuitive.”
The companies behind the project said that their goal is to turn around the usual route of transport innovation by focusing on the highway, rather than the vehicles which use it.
Among the most ambitious of the ideas for the future of road travel are special lanes which will allow drivers of electric cars to recharge their vehicles as they travel along them, the Daily Mail reported.
Another plan is to fit the roads with power-saving lights which will gradually brighten as vehicles approach then switch themselves off after they pass.
Those ideas are still some years off, but from next year Dutch roads will be painted with lines made from a photo-luminescent powder that charges in sunlight to illuminate the road for up to 10 hours overnight.
Another technology aimed for implementation next year is temperature-responsive dynamic paint which will make ice-crystals visible to drivers when cold weather makes road surfaces slippery.
The ideas - developed by Dutch firms Studio Roosegaarde and Heijmans Infrastructure - have already been hailed as ‘Best Future Concept’ at the Dutch Design Awards.
However, there is as yet no information on how lanes which recharge electric cars travelling among them might work.
Studio Roosegarde said in a statement: “Instead of focusing on the car to innovate the driving experience, Daan Roosegaarde and Heijmans are innovating the highway.”
“Innovative designs such as the Glow-in-the-Dark Road, Dynamic Paint, Interactive Light, Induction Priority Lane and Wind Light will be realized within the following five years.
“The goal is to make roads that are more sustainable and interactive by using interactive lights, smart energy and road signs that adapt to specific traffic situations,” they said.