Joynt: Dutch designers present glow-in-the-dark ‘Smart Highway’

Jordan Joynt

Dutch designers at Studio Roosegaard and Hejimans Infrastructure introduced a concept “smart highway” with glow-in-the-dark paint and interactive light at the recent Dutch Design Week.

The road uses photo-luminescent powder, which charges using sunlight and is illuminated at night. Dynamic Paint becomes visible based on the weather or possible accidents.

The Dynamic Paint will alert drivers to weather conditions with icons such as a snowflake when it is icy. The photo-luminescent powder used for the glow-in-the-dark paint could potentially save money and energy, decreasing the dependence on standard auxiliary lights.

“Charged in day light, the glow-in-the-dark road illuminates the contours of the road at night for up to 10 hours,” says Daan Roosegaarde of Studio Roosegaarde.

In addition to energy saving lighting methods, the designers would also like to implement a new way of turning off the lights when no cars are in the area. The wind produced from the cars driving by could eventually be used for powering lighting systems used within the highway system.

Another idea in development would use a lane called the “Induction Priority Lane,” which would essentially be used as a charger for electric cars.

“We live in a city of endless gray concrete roads, surrounded by steel lamps. They have a huge visual impact on our city,” says Roosegaarde. “But why do they remain so rough and without imagination? Why not make them a vision about mobility, a symbol of the future?”