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Transportation Technology

Futuristic Highway Will Glow In the Dark For Icy Conditions 174

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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  • Waste of time/money. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 07, 2013 @09:17AM (#42503801)

    How is this going to be more visible than the highly reflective paint that is already used?
    Many cars already notify you if icy conditions are likely to exist, snowflakes seem redundant.
    Neither will be very visible when covered with snow and ice.

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

    by kannibal_klown ( 531544 ) on Monday January 07, 2013 @09:56AM (#42504093)

    My previous car, it would "ding" and take up the whole radio/gps screen whenever the temperature dipped below 35F. And it would stay there for like 30 seconds during which time I couldn't see or use the touch screen (see the map, change the station to one of my favorites, etc). Normally, this wasn't so bad.. just slightly annoying.

    EXCEPT when the temperature would be right AROUND 35F. Because between wind, my engine heat, etc. the temperature might fluxuate between 35F and 36F constantly. So thing would "ding" and take up my screen every could of minutes. And I couldn't turn the feature off.

    Sure, you might be thinking "how often is the temperature right around 35F" I thought the same thing the first time it repeated... but apparently it's more common in NJ than you'd think.

    My current car just has the exterior temperate. It does NOT warn me about the presence of ice nor does it "ding"

  • by h4rr4r ( 612664 ) on Monday January 07, 2013 @10:16AM (#42504265)

    While this might hold true in the USA, it is not universal.

    This is why Americans should travel more. For one I think all Americans should try driving on some nice German roads. Maybe we could start building them here.

  • by Reemi ( 142518 ) on Monday January 07, 2013 @10:43AM (#42504563)

    Some governments consider roads as critical for their competitive position. Without a good road-network, the Netherlands would loose their position as transport country and the work generated by the Rotterdam Harbor would dry up.

    Accidents cause road-blocks which cause traffic jams. Hundreds of people in traffic jams idling costs enormous amounts of lost productivity and is bad for GDP.

    With a social system ensuring everybody for health-case and a decent life standard when not able to work, avoiding accidents becomes an economical question.

    I'm not stating the government does take all this into account, but at least the importance of a good and safe road-network for the whole country is understood.

    Note, roads are not only there for those driving a car. Even if you do your groceries walking, ask yourself how your food ended up at the store. Ask yourself how the Ambulance managed to come to you when you need it.

God help those who do not help themselves. -- Wilson Mizner