Next year, the Netherlands will see the first of what could be many “smart roads.”
Emerging from the Dutch companies Studio Roosegaarde and Heijmans Infrastructure, the concept—which won “Best Future Concept” at the recent Dutch Design Awards—entails roads treated with special paint that would glow in the dark to illuminate night traffic, special “charging lanes” that’ll allow electric vehicles to charge on the go, and intelligent traffic lights that will sense approaching vehicles, brighten, and then dim after the vehicle passes by.
It all sounds quite sci-fi, especially when considered from the perspective of readers in the U.S., where green technology and EVs are still struggling.
But the smart charging lanes could be the best solution yet for the perennial problem of charging platform infrastructure. What better way to approach the problem of sparsely-located charging stations than to offer electric vehicle drivers the option to charge while driving?
Most of these concepts are still in the planning phases. The charging infrastructure and motion-sensor lamps are years away from implementation.
But starting this year, some Dutch roads will be painted with road markings made of photo-luminescent powder. These would charge during daylight hours and glow during night-time off that stored charge.
The same principle would be applied to use temperature-sensitive paint to make ice-crystals on the road visible to night-time drivers through illumination.
The Daily Mail quotes Studio Roosegarde:
“The goal is to make roads that are more sustainable and interactive by using interactive lights, smart energy and road signs that adapt to specific traffic situations.”
Check out the future here: