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Glow-in-the-dark 'smart' highway opens in the Netherlands

A strip of "smart" highway with glow-in-the-dark road markings has opened in the Netherlands to improve road safety.

One of the proposed features of the highway: weather-sensitive markings.
(Credit: Studio Roosegaarde)

A strip of "smart" highway with glow-in-the-dark road markings has opened in the Netherlands to improve road safety.

When Dutch designer Daan Roosegaarde unveiled his smart highway back in late 2012, it seemed an ambitious project. Designed as a means of both improving road safety and environmental friendliness, it proposed several features, including: dynamic, temperature-sensitive markings that could change to indicate weather conditions; glowing road markings; wind indication lights; and a lane embedded with induction coils to charge electric cars as they drove over.

The highway in its current form.
(Credit: Studio Roosegaarde)

A 500-metre strip of the proposed road has opened on the N329 in Oss, but the features have been stripped down to just one: the glow-in-the-dark lane markings.

This is nothing, however, to be sniffed at. The markings themselves are very bright, thanks to a specially developed photoluminescent powder mixed with the road paint, and it stays bright for up to 10 hours after being charged with sunlight during the day. It is particularly welcome in the Netherlands, where streetlights are turned off late at night in order to save money, leading to dangerous driving conditions.

The road is undergoing a trial run, after which it will open fully later this month. At that time, Roosegaarde hopes to attract the interest of other road operators and governments to develop the project further.

Via www.wired.co.uk