We've got smart cars but how about smart roads? Dutch designer Daan Roosegaarde teamed up with infrastructure management group Heijmans to create a special glow-in-the-dark paint that will not only illuminate the road but alert drivers of the road conditions as well:
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 Branbant 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.
The idea is to not only use more sustainable methods of illuminating major roads, thus making them safer and more efficient, but to rethink the design of highways at the same time as we continue to rethink vehicle design. As Studio Roosegaarde sees it, connected cars and internal navigation systems linked up to the traffic news represent just one half of our future road management systems -- roads need to fill their end of the bargain and become intelligent, useful drivers of information too.
Liat Clark of Wired UK has the post: Link