Drivers on a road in the Netherlands are now being guided by glow-in-the-dark road markings. The N329 in Oss is being used to pilot the concept, which is part of the Smart Highway project by construction firm Heijmans and design firm Studio Roosegaarde. Glowing Lines is aimed at increasing visibility and safety.
The idea for Glowing Lines and the broader Smart Highway project were conceived by Heijmans and Studio Roosegaarde in 2012. The Smart Highway nomenclature is perhaps a little misleading, as none of the concepts that come under its umbrella involve internet connectedness, but they are certainly smart in the sense of being clever. The project is aimed at using different technologies to create the "interactive and sustainable roads of tomorrow."
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Glowing Lines uses luminescent paint that is charged by solar energy during the day and then glows for up to 10 hours when it gets dark. This means that the road markings have higher visibility than those using standard paint, whilst still not requiring electricity.
The concept itself has been developed through several iterations and has been tested for durability and user experience. As such, the Oss pilot should primarily provide information on how well it works on a day-to-day basis in a real-world setting.
As mentioned, there are a number of other concepts under the Smart Highway umbrella yet to be piloted. Dynamic Paint envisages the use of temperature sensitive paint on the roads to provide contextual information. For example, if it were to be very cold, then the usually transparent paint would become visible and display warning messages.
Interactive light seeks to detect where cars are on a road and then light only the sections of the road around and in front of them. The aim of this would be to reduce the use of electricity by dimming lighting where roads are empty. Induction Priority Lane, meanwhile, proposes a lane with electric vehicle charging technology embedded under the road surface, whilst Wind Light envisions turbines at the side of the road that generate electricity for lighting using the wind caused by passing cars.
Assuming the pilot is successful, there are plans to roll-out Glowing Lines globally.
The video below provides an introduction to Glowing Lines.
Source: Smart Highway