All Roads Should Glow In The Dark

The Dutch design firms Studio Roosegaarde and Hejimans Infrastructure just came up with a brilliant prototype for a "Smart Highway" that uses interactive lighting that adapts to driving conditions to make the roads safer. Enough with crap infotainment systems inside cars that distract us from driving with Twitter and dinner reservations — let's light up the roads like a night club until no one crashes again.

In addition to obvious additions like glow-in-the-dark lines that charge during the day with sunlight, the Smart Highway would feature innovations like dynamic paint that communicates information about the road you're driving on. For example, wouldn't it be nice to know when you're about to drive over a patch of ice?

And though this mostly a concept, it's not all pie in the sky. According to Studio Roosegaarde, the "first meters" of Smart Highway will be built in the Netherlands. How many meters? We're guessing not very many because, from the looks of it, the future of driving will be expensive.

[Studio Roosegaarde via Design Boom]



    Even without "upgrading" roads everywhere maybe something similar could be achieved with AR? Regardless it seems like a pretty excellent idea

      Would you trust an augmented reality powered by Apple Maps?

        LoL probably not. To be fair I'd wanna see a heap of testing before using AR provided by anyone for driving though.

      No need to upgrade anything. Whats wrong with making the lines glow? I painted a mural on my kids playroom wall with fluro paint. replace the white light with a black light and it looks awesome. Put solar powered black light LED's on the posts and make the lines glow

        And on the plus side, any pedestrian that you hit will get a free tan out of it!
        Seriously, though, I think that's a great idea.

    They should have directional colours. So your lane has a green tinge to it and any opposing lane, from your perspective, has a red tinge.

      Imagine some sort of tracking which can detect traffic locations as well, then perhaps it could tell you when it's safe to merge and such. LoL for novice drivers you could even have tips popups reminding them how to, say, indicate properly when navigating a roundabout.

        it would be the end of the world as we know it! indicating on roundabouts! no way!

        From my experience it isn't novice drivers that have a problem with this. I see plenty of middle aged/older people not bothering.

    If the roads will be painted with snowflakes to tell you of snow ahead, you might miss the actual snow on the road and have an accident. If the roads will have dynamic paint, why not stream ads on the roads, so when you travel at 100 KMS on that stretch, you see a frame every so often that it looks like a live streaming TV ADs to you...

    Add Augmented Reality, overlays, self driving cars, just one question, why even drive? There are some things that you need to do, you need to do.

    Why love to sit and have a scrumptious meal in a lovely restaurant, why not just pop a protein pill instead while seated on the ceramic throne?

      You're absolutely right, we should never, ever do anything differently than the way it was always done. Never enhance an experience, never make life easier or more efficient or more beneficial. Never advance if there is even a single way a new idea/technology could possibly, maybe be used in a detrimental way, or if any one person can see no benefit in it to themselves personally.

    Yes this would be a great idea in a small and dense place like Europe, but it just isn't financially viable in a huge and empty place like Australia.

      that's our problem. an enormous country with no-one in it. we've only got a handful of cities, and thousands of km's of roads connecting them with barely anything in between. I am honestly surprised the nbn infrastructure was passed by government. imagine the cost of something like this.
      with such a small population comes a small amount in taxes. without the taxes, the country can't really afford all the cool things in life.
      We are like the kid that works at maccas. we see everyone else wearing Armani and driving BMWs. we want it too. problem is, we need to save for a long time to be able to afford it. then, by the time we can afford it, it's either out of fashion or the tech is so old it barely works any more.

    Can I delete my own comment? :)

    Last edited 26/10/12 3:17 pm

    I've been wondering for years why they don't use glow in the dark paint for road markings.

    UV lights cause glow in the dark materials to glow extremely bright and charge within a second. UV spotlights wouldn't blind the cars in the other lane but would make the lane markers extremely visible.

    A very interesting concept, hopefully its a viable one too!

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