A priority lane for induction-charging of electric cars as they drive along and glow-in-the-dark roads might sound like pie-in-the-sky but Dutch designer Daan Roosegaarde is calling it the ‘Route 66 of the Future’.
Indeed, Daan’s vision for the future roads has just won ‘Best Future Concept’ at Dutch Design Awards with the first elements of the concept planned for realisation by mid-2013 in the Netherlands.
Teaming with Heijmans Infrastructure, the new ‘Smart Highway’ doesn’t just charge electric cars on the move, it also incorporates ‘Dynamic Paint’, ‘Interactive Light’, ‘Glow-in-the-Dark Road’ and ‘Wind Light’ designs to make roads that are more sustainable and interactive, communicating vital information to the driver.
In producing a working prototype, Roosegaarde’ studio has developed a road surface which is treated with a special photo-luminising powder which uses solar energy to charge during the day and glows at night to illuminate the contours of the road. Dynamic Paint becomes visible in response to temperature fluctuations, enabling the roads to communicate surface conditions to drivers. For example ice-crystals become visible on the surface of the road when it’s cold and slippery.
Studio Roosegaarde say they plan to see all the designs included in the Smart Highway in production within the next five years.
In the meantime, if you are in the Netherlands, then you can see the first workings of the design on public display during the Dutch Design Week (October 20-28, 2012) at the Strijp-S complex in Eindhoven.
Faye has been writing about cars and environmental issues since 2007. A suspected eco-warrior working on the corporate inside, Faye mainly likes the weird, quirky vehicles that show a distinct environmental advantage. Her ideal car has enough room to fit a bale of hay in the boot. When not working, she likes nothing better than to head out on her bicycle and explore the countryside.
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