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Glow in the dark roads


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Glow in the dark roads

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In early April the first “Glowing Lines” section of road was unveiled on a provincial highway near Oss, in the Netherlands. It was designed by artist and innovator Daan Roosegaarde, using a light-emitting paint that glows at night. It’s considered a sustainable alternative for areas where there’s no conventional lighting and provides drivers a frame of reference, because the lines make the road’s trajectory visible.

Daan Roosegaarde explained how they work: “These are “Glowing Lines”, which form part of the Smart Highway project. We developed a type of paint, which charges up during the day, and glows at night. So, it works if there’s enough sun, and if it’s cloudy, we can supply a little bit of electricity to top them up a little. We use a solar panel so it’s energy-neutral. It’s functional, but I also find it very artistic.”

Roosegaarde has other ideas for the future Smart Highways. Interactive lights that brighten when a vehicle approaches then dim when it passes by, saving energy when there is no traffic on the road. Wind lights get energy from roadside pinwheel generators, they light up using the draft produced by passing vehicles.

“We are working on roads that charge electric cars whilst driving. We are developing a paint that will be used to print snowflakes on the surface of the road and will light up when it’s slippery. It’s a dynamic paint that appears when necessary and then disappears again,” says Roosegaarde.

For the moment it’s just a pilot project on two 500-metre highway sections, but he’s looking to develop safer and more sustainable roads and also innovate using design, technology and energy-neutral equipment.

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