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Vision of a smart highway (pictures)

A group in the Netherlands has some big ideas for changing the way people use highways by infusing technology into the road.

Christopher MacManus
Crave contributor Christopher MacManus regularly spends his time exploring the latest in science, gaming, and geek culture -- aiming to provide a fun and informative look at some of the most marvelous subjects from around the world.
Christopher MacManus
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1 of 5 Daan Roosegaarde/Heijmans Infrastructure

Ice cold

Designer Daan Roosegaarde and the mega European construction company Heijmans Infrastructure recently revealed plans for a "smart highway" through a fascinating pictorial of sustainable and interactive road concepts.

While several of the ideas in this gallery need years of further honing before they're implemented, the dynamic paint, shown above, should arrive in the Netherlands around mid-2013. The proposed smart paint changes appearance based on the temperature. In this example, we see a series of ice crystals upon the road that cautiously indicate to the driver that it's cold and slippery out.

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2 of 5 Daan Roosegaarde/Heijmans Infrastructure

'Tron' alley

In mid-2013, select highways in the Netherlands are scheduled to gain glow-in-the-dark features that convert seemingly normal roads into thoroughfares straight out of "Tron." The real-world glow paint derives from "a special foto-luminising powder" that charges by natural sunlight and provides nighttime illumination for up to 10 hours.
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3 of 5 Daan Roosegaarde/Heijmans Infrastructure

The road ahead

Dutch designer Daan Roosegaarde believes cities could save a significant amount of money by using motion-activated lighting on the side of the highway instead of lampposts. As a car passes by the installation, the panels ahead illuminate and provide a safer look at the road. Roosegaarde and co-developer Heijmans Infrastructure aim to install the interactive light setup on various highways in the Netherlands before 2015.
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4 of 5 Daan Roosegaarde/Heijmans Infrastructure

Charge while you drive

Sometime before 2015, designer Daan Roosegaarde and Heijmans Infrastructure hope to introduce a priority lane for electric vehicles on several highways throughout the Netherlands. Through the magic of induction charging, certain electric vehicles could power up while traveling through the lane.
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5 of 5 Daan Roosegaarde/Heijmans Infrastructure

Wind mill

The last concept shown in the series of concept photos by designer Daan Roosegaarde and European construction company Heijmans Infrastructure reveal a keen light setup, driven by wind, that could intelligently beautify highways in the Netherlands. As winds blow and cars pass by, the pinwheel lights spin and illuminate the area, as well as charge accordingly.

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