TECHNOLOGY

Netherlands’s Glow-In-The-Dark Highways

After months of pilot testing, a glow-in-the-dark smart highway in the Netherlands has finally gone public in the Dutch city of Oss, and there are plans to expand the technology to other highways in the Netherlands and internationally.

After months of pilot testing, a glow-in-the-dark smart highway in the Netherlands has finally gone public in the Dutch city of Oss.

After months of pilot testing, a glow-in-the-dark smart highway in the Netherlands has finally gone public in the Dutch city of Oss.

The glow-in-the-dark lane markers are intended to increase road visibility in a more energy-efficient way than traditional street lighting.

The glow-in-the-dark lane markers are intended to increase road visibility in a more energy-efficient way than traditional street lighting.

The photoluminescent paint charges during the day and slowly emits light over the course of eight hours during the evening.

The photoluminescent paint charges during the day and slowly emits light over the course of eight hours during the evening.

Glowing Lanes is a collaboration between Dutch engineering company Heijmans and Daan Roosegaarde, a tech-loving artist and designer whose previous work includes Intimacy 2.0, a dress that becomes transparent when the wearer gets aroused. The glow-in-the-dark lane markers are intended to increase road visibility in a more energy-efficient way than traditional street lighting. Photoluminescent paint charges during the day and slowly emits light over the course of eight hours during the evening.

After a few technical challenges (an early version of the markers didn’t fare so well in the rain), the final system has been installed, and according to Studio Roosegaarde, the kinks have been worked out, and initial reports of the paint fading were “overstated.”

Glowing Lanes is a collaboration between Dutch engineering company Heijmans and Daan Roosegaarde, a tech-loving artist and designer.

Glowing Lanes is a collaboration between Dutch engineering company Heijmans and Daan Roosegaarde, a tech-loving artist and designer.

“The landscape becomes an experience of light and information,” Studio Roosegaarde's press release proclaims, and “a result this increases visibility and safety.”

“The landscape becomes an experience of light and information,” Studio Roosegaarde’s press release proclaims, and “a result this increases visibility and safety.”

After a few technical challenges (an early version of the lines didn’t fare so well in the rain), the final system has now been installed.

After a few technical challenges (an early version of the lines didn’t fare so well in the rain), the final system has now been installed.

“This was part of any normal learning process,” according to an email from the studio’s PR, and “now the project is ‘matured.'”

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But not to the point where it’s no longer a novelty. According to the email from Studio Roosegaarde, the glowing highway caused a minor traffic jam last night as people rushed to look at it.

The glowing lanes are part of a larger vision for smart highways in the Netherlands.

The glowing lanes are part of a larger vision for smart highways in the Netherlands.

Roosegaarde has also been asked to create a smart highway design for Afsluitdijk--an almost 20-mile-long dike that connects North Holland to the province of Friesland across the water.

Roosegaarde has also been asked to create a smart highway design for Afsluitdijk–an almost 20-mile-long dike that connects North Holland to the province of Friesland across the water.

According to the studio, there are plans in the works to launch the glowing lanes in China and Japan as well.

According to the studio, there are plans in the works to launch the glowing lanes in China and Japan as well.

The glowing lines are part of a larger vision for smart highways in the Netherlands. In November, Studio Roosegaard will launch a glowing bicycle path inspired by Van Gogh’s Starry Night along a historic cycling route in the town of Nuenen, where Van Gogh lived and worked for a period. Roosegaarde has also been asked to create a smart highway design for Afsluitdijk—an almost 20-mile-long dike that connects North Holland to the province of Friesland across the water—and according to his studio, there are plans in the works to launch the glowing lanes in China and Japan as well.

Check out other articles about Studio Roosegaarde’s Smart Highway system here and here.

[All images: Studio Roosegaarde]

 

This article originally appeared in Fast Company.

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