A Possible Future for Roads

Over the years vehicles have dynamically changed and have come closer to things of the future. Our roads though, have stayed much the same – until now.

Though it’s still being tested in the Netherlands, a lot of attention has been given to the small stretch of road that now glows in the dark. What is this about and what will it mean for your roads in the future? Read on to find out more!

Smart Highways

In 2011 it was reported that parts of Western Europe had begun to turn off the lights on the streets and highways to lower costs and beat their carbon emissions goals. In response, a Dutch Designer and his team created the Smart Highway Project.

Daan Roosegaarde won best future concept idea at the 2012 Dutch Design Awards for the concepts created in the SHP. The main focus was a luminescent paint that would replace the white reflective paint we are familiar with. It has the ability to glow for 8-10 hours after a day in the sun.

Other concepts thought of in the SHP include things like:

Weather Interactive Road Alerts

Although you should already know what to do when bad weather affects the roads, this aleart is specifically shown for cold conditions. The concept would be that the road itself would alert you to dangerous situations, such as ice. This would likely be a paint that would react to the cold temperatures.

Car Sensing Guardrail Lights

These lights would only flick on as a vehicle gets within a certain range. This would save energy so the lights are only in use when needed.

Pinwheel-Like Street Lights

Similar to the guardrail lights, these lights would be activated by vehicles; the draft caused by passing vehicles would power the pinwheel.

As We See It

Although these technologies may not work in every location, with this sort of innovation already making considerable headway we may soon see roads that are more interactive with who is on it. The possibilities are endless, but most of them aren’t quite ready yet. That doesn’t mean that you can’t have some of the more recent innovations ready at your fingertips though.

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Posted on May 5, 2014 by in Safety, Technology
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