Smart Roads

The future may be coming to a road near you and will include some interesting features. Conceptualized by Dutch designer Dan Roosegaarde, smart roads will include special paints that glow in the dark and induction power for electric cars. These new road safety features will require only a minor update to current online drivers ed programs as they are mainly intuitive in nature.

The following video shows the application of glow in the dark paints and how the inductive charging lane would appear in future roads.

Special paint is used to provide additional markup on lanes which will increase the amount of safety information available to drivers. The most interesting part about the paint is that it “charges up” in the daytime sunlight and will glow for up to 10 hours in the dark. This allows road designers to provide a much greater amount of “safety lighting” without the expense of additional power lines and ongoing electricity costs. Additionally, the paints can be applied in such a way that certain markings only become visible below freezing temperatures, thus giving drivers a heads-up when road conditions allow for black ice.

Another smart feature of these roads is the ability of the road to sense car movement and only provide illumination when cars are on the road. This will help decrease the electricity used to keep modern roads lighted.

The final bit of innovation is the inclusion of induction coils built directly into the road lanes. Coupled with cars that have induction pickups, electric cars could be powered and their batteries charged when they drive along the highway. This feature would dramatically raise the practicality of electric cars allowing their drivers to take  longer trips without fear of losing power. This is a feature the designers hope to be testing within the next 5 years.

These smart features seem like a great leap forward in technology and will hopefully be coming to your roads in the not too distant future.

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