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Rediff.com  » Business » Soon, roads that glow in the dark

Soon, roads that glow in the dark

October 30, 2012 16:14 IST

HighwaysRoads that glow in the dark and could one day even charge electric cars are set be introduced in the Netherlands.

'Smart Highways' unveiled last week at Dutch Design Week will use the latest technologies in roads which their designers claim will be 'more sustainable, safe and intuitive', the Daily Mail reported.

The companies behind the project said 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 and 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.

However, there is no information yet on how lanes which recharge electric cars travelling among them might work.

"Innovative designs such as the Glow-in-the-Dark Road, Dynamic Paint, Interactive Light, Induction Priority Lane and Wind Light will be realised within the following five years," Studio Roosegarde said.

"The goal is to make roads that are more sustainable and interactive by using interactive lights, smart energy and road signs that adapt to specific traffic situations," it said.

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