By the middle of next year, there’s going to be a stretch of highway in the Netherlands where traffic indicators glow in the dark and shiny snowflakes appear on the road surface when it gets cold.
Wired U.K. reports that designers from Studio Roosegaarde and infrastructure company Heijmans won a design award for this idea, and decided to make it real:
The studio has developed a photo-luminising powder that will replace road markings — it charges up in sunlight, giving it up to ten hours of glow-in-the-dark time come nightfall. “It’s like the glow in the dark paint you and I had when we were children,” designer Roosegaarde explained, “but we teamed up with a paint manufacture and pushed the development. Now, it’s almost radioactive”.
The paint used to make the snowflakes only shows up when the temperature drops below a certain temperature, to warn drivers of potential icy conditions. It’s sort of like that snowflake light that comes on in some newfangled cars, but for everyone. Or like those glowy stars you put up in your dorm room, but for grownups, and with a point!
The best part? This is the Netherlands, which means it’s only a matter of time before they put this technology to work in bike lanes, too.
Netherlands highways will glow in the dark from mid-2013, Wired UK.