Back in October 2012, Studio Roosegaarde designed a road that glows in the dark and illuminated weather indicators onto the tarmac. Named ‘The Smart Highway”, the company won Best Future Concept at the Dutch Design awards, but now it’s gone beyond the concept, debuting in the Netherlands this month.
The designer explained:
It’s like the glow in the dark paint you and I had when we were children, but we teamed up with a paint manufacture and pushed the development.
Part of Roosegaarde’s vision were weather markers, such as snowflakes, that would appear on the roads when temperatures reached certain levels. At the moment, the only active feature is the glow-in-the-dark road markings, illuminating the road with photo-luminescent powders mixed with the road paint.
Recently the UK announced that lights on some roadways and paths would be dimmed at 9pm to save on costs on energy. This could be a boon for Roosegaarde whose designs could save hundreds of thousands of dollars in the long term when implemented on such conditions.
The company is looking to expand the idea to other countries, but so far hasn’t received any further contracts. Currently, there’s no research showing how the paint holds up against wear and tear and weather, although the glow has shown to last up to 8 hours.