"Smart highways" coming to the Netherlands in 2013
2nd November 2012
This week, designer and innovator Daan Roosegaarde and Heijmans Infrastructure presented the first prototypes of their 'Smart Highway' at the Dutch Design Week.
Using the latest techniques, they aim to develop the first 'Smart Highways' in Europe – roads that are more sustainable, safe and intuitive. Selected 'Best Future Concept' by the Dutch Design Awards, these highways will be realised mid-2013 in the Netherlands.
Instead of focusing on the car to innovate the driving experience, Daan Roosegaarde and Heijmans are re-inventing the highway. Futuristic designs such as Glow-in-the-Dark Road, Dynamic Paint, Interactive Light, Induction Priority Lane and Wind Light will be realised within the following five years. The goal is to produce roads with interactive lights, efficient energy use and road signs which adapt to specific traffic situations.
First prototypes of Glow-in-the-dark Road and Dynamic Paint
The pathways of Glow-in-the-dark roads are treated with special photo-luminising powder making extra lighting unnecessary. Charged in daylight, they illuminate the contours of the road at night for up to 10 hours.
Dynamic Paint, that becomes visible in response to temperature fluctuations, enables the road surface to communicate relevant traffic information directly to drivers. For example, ice-crystals become visible on the surface of the road when it's cold and slippery.
The first pieces of Smart Highway featuring the above two technologies were open for public viewing this week. The first few hundred metres are due to be installed in the Dutch province of Brabant next year. Priority induction lanes for electric vehicles, interactive lights that switch on as cars pass, and wind-powered lighting will be rolled out by 2017. In total, the studio has 20 concepts that it hopes to commercialise and has received numerous inquiries from countries around the globe.
Studio Roosegaarde comunications partner Emina Sendijarevic: "India is really keen on it; they have a lot of blackouts there, it would be hallelujah to them."