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Glow in the dark road concept hopes to improve driver safety

Tom Morgan
15 Apr 2014
glow in the dark road concept
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Glow in the dark road markings aim to improve car safety on one stretch of Dutch road, could be a sign of things to come

Street lights have been removed from a 500m stretch of road in the Netherlands in an effort to improve road safety, having been replaced with light-absorbing glow in the dark road markings. The concept, first introduced back in 2013 by Studio Roosegaarde, had to go through a lot of government approval before finally becoming a reality, but is now open to the public.

Speaking to Ars Technica, Studio Roosegaarde's founder Daan Roosegaarde said "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."

The 500m stretch of the N329 in Oss now includes part of that vision, with photo-luminescent powder being integrated into the road paint to illuminate the tarmac. Developed in conjunction with construction company Heijmans, the paint is "almost radioactive" according to Roosegaarde - it lasts up to eight hours after a full day of absorbing light, although has yet to undergo long-term wear and tear testing.

Roosegaarde also planned weather markings that wold only appear when temperatures reached a certain level, along with wind-powered lights that would only light up when cars are nearby, and an electric vehicle lane that could potentially recharge a car as it drives.

Much of this is still very much in the early concept stages, but for half a kilometre at least, Dutch drivers can get a feeling of what driving may be like in the future.

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