The Futuristic Energy Efficient Highways Project
The Smart Highways project by the Dutch Studio Roosegaarde unveiled at the Design Indaba 2013 conference in Cape Town, South Africa, is an innovative concept aimed to make highways safer and energy efficient. The project foresees using five energy-efficient ideas on a stretch of highway in the Brabant province of the Netherlands from the middle of this year. The first one developed in cooperation with the infrastructure company Heijmans is a glow-in-the-dark road that uses photo-luminescent paint to mark out traffic lanes. The paint absorbs energy from sunlight during the day and then lights the road at night for up to 10 hours. Temperature-responsive road paint would show images of snowflakes when the temperature drops below zero, warning drivers to watch out on slippery roads. The other two ideas concern the roadside lighting: interactive street lamps that light up as vehicles approach then dim as they pass by, in such a way saving energy when there’s no traffic, and “wind lights” that use energy generated by pinwheels as drafts of air from passing vehicles cause them to spin round. in conclusion, it would be possible to recharge electric cars, as they drive, due to an induction priority lane that would include induction coils under the tarmac.