The Roads of The Future

12:32 pm in Trends by Jason Baskey

The day is coming soon when traditional roads will be “so 2012″. Roads that glow in the dark and even charge electric cars are set to introduced in The Netherlands 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 say 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.

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.


Thanks to Mike Lee for the find!