by Susanne Posel
Daan Roosegaarde, founder of Studio Roosegaarde (SR) has designed interactive glow-in-the-dark paint that lights up roadways in the Netherlands.
This project has been funded by the creators of the technology and will be installed “along a 150-year strip of trial road in Brabant, a Dutch province on the Belgian border.”
This photo-luminising paint powered by solar energy and is more efficient than street lamps in lighting the roads.
For example, to assist drivers on the road during winter conditions, markers shaped like snowflakes will appear to warn drivers that there are icy conditions ahead.
This replacement for current road paint is part of the Smart Highway initiative (SHI) and has an “almost radioactive” property to it.
Roosengaarde told the press: “One day I was sitting in my car in the Netherlands, and I was amazed by these roads we spend millions on but no one seems to care what they look like and how they behave. I started imagining this Route 66 of the future where technology jumps out of the computer screen and becomes part of us.”
Currently, the markers on the roads are “radioactive green” and “consist of 3 strips” that are charged at night.
Emina Sendijarevic, communications partner with SR explained: “Research on smart transportation systems and smart roads has existed for over 30 years — call any transportation and infrastructure specialist and you’ll find out yourself. What’s lacking is the implementation of those innovations and making those innovations intuitive and valuable to the end-consumers — drivers. For this, a mentality change needs to take place within a country and its people, but also within a company such as Heijmans.”
Sendijarevic continued: “This is a story that goes beyond the ‘Smart Highway’ as such — it’s about the fact that Heijmans and Roosegaarde are not going to wait any longer for innovations to find their way through the political system, but will start building this highway now.”
In the US, Solar Roadways (SRs) are being touted as an answer to global warming.
LEDs have been added to the paint to light the roadways independently of lighting that follows the highways. Like their European counterpart, the SRs will light up with snowflakes and rain drops when conditions pose a possible threat to the driver’s safety.
General Electric (GE) is behind the Focus Forward initiative that is supporting the SRs implementation on public roadways.
Julie and Scott Brushaw founded and conceived of SRs with the idea that solar panels could be placed on the roads to collect solar energy. This would be converted to electricity and could heat adjacent buildings.
Scott explains that the top layer would be made of glass. Underneath would be an LED light; then the support structure where the micro-computer technology is placed. Under this would be laid a layer of recyclable materials.