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Transportation Technology

Futuristic Highway Will Glow In the Dark For Icy Conditions 174

Posted by samzenpus
from the light-it-up dept.
Hugh Pickens writes writes "Will Oremus reports that a glow-in-the-dark highway will be installed in the Netherlands that will replace standard road markings with photoluminescent powder that charges in the daylight and glows through the night for up to 10 hours. But the new highway's most interesting feature is when the temperature drops below freezing, the road will automatically light up with snowflake indicators to warn drivers of icy conditions (video). '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,' says designer Daan Roosegaarde. 'I started imagining this Route 66 of the future where technology jumps out of the computer screen and becomes part of us.' The first few hundred meters of glow-in-the-dark, weather-indicating road will be installed in the province of Branbant in mid-2013, followed by priority induction lanes for electric vehicles, interactive lights that switch on as cars pass and wind-powered lights within the next five years. '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,' adds Emina Sendijarevick. 'What's lacking is the implementation of those innovations and making those innovations intuitive and valuable to the end-consumers — drivers.'"
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Futuristic Highway Will Glow In the Dark For Icy Conditions

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  • Re:Freezy Freakies (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kannibal_klown (531544) on Monday January 07, 2013 @09:34AM (#42503933)

    Meh, I wouldn't say a waste. There are some roads I've been on that I actually wish the white-lines would glow in the dark. Roads without street lights with (sometimes) more dangerous conditions (curves and such). Of course, some of these roads make me wish for that, because the lines are starting to wear away so it's hard to see... and a plain re-paint might just solve that.

    As for showing when freezing conditions are in effect, I guess if they're going to go re-paint with glow-in-the-dark, this isn't a complete waste. And particularly only certain bad stretches of road.

    Not all people have an "exterior temperature" reading on their car nor do they care to check. If some roads (like bridges) are more susceptible to freezing, or are insanely dangerous when freezing such as a specific stretch that has 10x the accidents of the average iced road, then it could help a little.

    Meanwhile, it would help make the association for drivers that "something is not normal" and adjust their driving habits. Here in NJ, we have people that don't realize how bad road conditions are so they drive just as wild as when the roads are pristine. Which, I guess wouldn't be insane if you have the skills to back it up or are used to it because you live in an area where this is common-place. But they don't, so you see cars and SUVs doing the "idiot dance" across the road because they don't know any better. If you can make that visual association in their heads (ice + roads == bad) maybe it could reduce it.

    Personally, I drive fine but I also drive careful when conditions warrant it.

  • Re:Freezy Freakies (Score:5, Insightful)

    by h4rr4r (612664) on Monday January 07, 2013 @10:30AM (#42504413)

    There is a reason they are not found in Northern areas. Snowplows would tear them right off. Also they would be totally useless when snow covers them.

  • by slashmydots (2189826) on Monday January 07, 2013 @10:39AM (#42504519)
    I live in Wisconsin. We have a nickname for anyone whose car goes in the ditch on the highway during a big snowstorm: morons. It's always some piece of crap minivan or Saturn Ion or Pontiac of some sort. The driver is always in a hurry or forgot that 4 wheel drive doesn't do anything for stopping and tada, ditch. Last major snowstorm there was approx 1 car in the ditch every 1.5 miles. No amount of sparkly snowflakes on the road will keep people that stupid from driving that stupidly, trust me. They're just idiots who will never learn their lesson. They're all Wisconsin plates too so don't go thinking it's someone from Texas or something who's never seen snow because those people are smart enough to stay home.
    This idea would be a giant waste of time and money and not benefit anyone.
  • Re:Freezy Freakies (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kannibal_klown (531544) on Monday January 07, 2013 @11:03AM (#42504777)

    I think the point of the glow-in-the-dark "snowflake" is for when conditions are icy... without the snow on the ground. Obviously, if snow is on the ground... that's enough warning for "there may be ice"

    It happens a fair amount in certain areas: either with freezing rain, 40F rain during the day following by an evening of 28F temperatures. I imagine the mild-afternoon w/ rain followed by the freezing evening is the bigger issue as a person might think that it's still too warm for ice based on the mild temperatures during their lunch break.

    Here in NJ it happens quite a bit, which is of course "fun" when people don't realize it and skid through traffic lights into the middle of an intersection of drive into someone's lawn because they went too fast on a curve.

It is impossible to travel faster than light, and certainly not desirable, as one's hat keeps blowing off. -- Woody Allen

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