Not only is it designed to save energy, but we here at E3 Spark Plugs think it’s pretty darn cool, too. The Netherlands’ new “smart highway” features glow-in-the-dark markings in place of street lights. The result – a ride that feels a lot like you’ve been sucked into a futuristic video game.
Designed by Dutch artist and innovator Daan Roosegaarde and a Dutch civil engineering firm, Heijmans, the glowing green strips line just a 0.3-mile stretch of the Netherlands’ N329 highway in Oss. But it’s just a first step. If all goes well, highways across the entire country eventually will glow.
Here’s the deal – Roosengarde was working to develop an energy-neutral streetlight when he got a different idea. Why not do away with streetlights altogether? After all, they’re expensive to build and can cause serious injury and damage when a car slams into one.
His idea – integrate light into the street lines with paint containing photo-luminescing power that charges on the sun’s light during the day. At night, on a full charge, those powder grains give off a bright green glow for up to eight hours.
Next up: a system wherein patterns warning drivers of bad weather on the way will appear on the roadway.