The Netherlands Home to the World’s First ‘Smart Highway’

Netherlands – Dutch designer and innovator Daan Roosegaarde teamed up with Heijmans Infrastructure to create plans for the ‘Route 66 of the Future’, ultimately winning ‘Best Future Concept’ in the Dutch Design Awards. One aspect of the ‘smart highway’ involves using photo-luminescent paint that ‘charges’ with sunlight during the day and glows in the dark at night. The glowing lines effectively illuminate the contours of the road for up to 10 hours, reducing the need for street lights and thereby saving energy.  As of a week ago, a one-third of a mile stretch of this smart, glow-in-the-dark highway was implemented, about 60 miles southeast from Amsterdam.

Other features of the smart highway design include:

 ‘Dynamic Paint’, painted symbols of snowflakes and suns which become visible in response to temperature changes to indicate cold and slippery or warm road surface conditions to drivers, respectively,

‘Interactive Light’, lights which only illuminate when vehicles are within a useful proximity,

 ‘Induction Priority Lane’, highway lanes which can charge electric vehicles merely upon contact, and

 ‘Wind Light’, street lights powered by micro-wind turbines.

The plan is to realize these elements within the next five years.

Kathryn Hannis

Kathryn spent the first half of her life in Phoenix, Arizona, in the United States. Then, just as she was about to begin her freshman year in high school, her family uprooted and transplanted to The Hague, the Netherlands, Europe. Kathryn studied Environmental Engineering at NAU, in Flagstaff, Arizona, and then later moved back to the Netherlands to get a Master’s degree in Sustainable Energy Technology.

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