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First Glow-In-the-Dark Road Debuts In Netherlands 187

An anonymous reader writes "A 500 meter (0.3 mile) stretch of road in the Netherlands has opened without the standard crop of streetlights lining its perimeter. The streetlights are believed to be unnecessary since the road markings were painted on with a mix of photo-luminescent powder, which absorbs sunlight during the day and radiates a portion of that energy back at night. Whether the modified road paint can withstand harsh weather or even provide sufficient lighting given insufficient exposure to sunlight during the day remains to be seen. The project was orchestrated by Studio Roosegaarde, which in the future plans to implement weather-sensitive road markings that would inform drivers when outside temperatures drop or rise above certain levels."
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First Glow-In-the-Dark Road Debuts In Netherlands

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  • Useless (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PPH ( 736903 ) on Monday April 14, 2014 @02:13AM (#46744645)

    We already have retroreflective paints. Road markings and signs illuminated by headlights are clearly visible. On the other hand, some things (like animals and pedestrians) require some means of illumination at night. Streetlights are OK, but headlights are better. An animal or other obstruction will only appear as a shadow against a glowing roadway.

  • Re:Useless (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Joce640k ( 829181 ) on Monday April 14, 2014 @02:51AM (#46744751) Homepage

    On the other hand, some things (like animals and pedestrians) require some means of illumination at night.

    I wonder how we ever managed to survive before electric light...

    Oh, wait, humans can actually see by starlight alone.

    You're not going to read a book or do rocket surgery but you can walk around outdoors without electric lights even when there's no moon. I've done plenty of hiking, etc. under a full moon.

  • Re:Useless (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Travis Mansbridge ( 830557 ) on Monday April 14, 2014 @03:03AM (#46744803)
    Yes, but today we are talking about driving.
  • by DarwinSurvivor ( 1752106 ) on Monday April 14, 2014 @03:05AM (#46744817)
    All the "pictures" in TFA are computer renderings. For a road that, apparently, has already been painted you'd think they could have taken at least 1 photo of it.
  • by Gavagai80 ( 1275204 ) on Monday April 14, 2014 @03:08AM (#46744843) Homepage
    Those of us who don't live in cities have been driving fine at night without streetlights forever. No special paint needed. Cars have headlights.
  • by 91degrees ( 207121 ) on Monday April 14, 2014 @03:23AM (#46744881) Journal
    Most night driving is between sunset and midnight though. For the morning hours, this isn't going to help, but cars do still have headlights so we're no worse off than before.
  • Re:Useless (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 14, 2014 @03:58AM (#46745007)

    Reflective paints are fine if you're driving at very moderate speeds. If you're driving with higher speeds on a long stretch of highway with oncoming traffic that potentially blinds you and doesn't allow you to use your high beam, it really helps if you can see the road stretch out in front of you and not just the short stretch illuminated by your low beam. It also builds confidence that you're not missing an unexpected turn and end up besides the road. Confidence is very important in safe driving, people that are not confident about their current situation on the road tend to do all kinds of unexpected maneuvers that can end badly.

    Of course, there are roadside reflectors that could do roughly the same job, but their usage is often very inconsistent and often they're too dirty to be of any use. Roadside reflectors are also hard to clean (every reflector needs to be cleaned individually), whereas those lines could be cleaned alongside with the rest of the road.

  • Re:Useless (Score:5, Insightful)

    by physicsphairy ( 720718 ) on Monday April 14, 2014 @04:57AM (#46745223) Homepage

    Maybe it's not the best for inner city roads, but on long highway stretches it would be awfully nice to be able to see the road far ahead. Especially on road with hills and curves, headlights do a fairly bad job of lighting up that reflective paint (other than what's immediately ahead) because often your car is not oriented so as to illuminate it.

  • Re:Useless (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) * <> on Monday April 14, 2014 @08:30AM (#46745951) Homepage Journal

    This paint isn't retroreflective, it actually emits light. Good to see the road layout as it enters a bend from some distance away, and the exit to the bend where you headlights aren't pointing.

  • Re:Useless (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mjr167 ( 2477430 ) on Monday April 14, 2014 @09:08AM (#46746253)

    I'm not sure what this obsession with street lights is... We don't have street lights where I live and it's nice. We somehow manage to not run over children and animals, though the deer do occasionally hit cars. Stupid deer dashing out of the woods and running into cars... (cars never hit deer, the deer always hits the car).

    As a result we can look up and see the sky at night and we don't have street lights shining into our houses in the middle of the night.

  • Re:Useless (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 14, 2014 @10:13AM (#46746979)

    on the other hand sensitivity of your eyes decreases when you blast the surroundings with bright light. Outside of the cone of light you don't see shit.

With all the fancy scientists in the world, why can't they just once build a nuclear balm?