Video: Solar Roadways– The Path to the Future?


Admittedly, this video is kind of annoying, but the concept is pretty cool! Other counties are using similar technology. Select highways in the Netherlands now use a high-tech system to alert drivers on road conditions.

In January, we published an article regarding studies that found digital billboards are a safety liability. The studies were conducted by European and American groups that found out digital billboards distracts drivers at critical junctions for up to 3 seconds. So we’re curious why the Netherlands chose to fund and build a highway that has extra bells and whistles that can total out to lots of driver distraction.

What is it?  A futuristic highway that can save energy and improve road safety is set to be installed in the Netherlands by mid-2013.

Two companies, Studio Roosegaarde and Heijmans Infrastructure, came up with the highway, which includes: glow-in-the-dark road markings painted with photo-luminescent paint which are charged during the day and light up during the night; temperature-responsive paint which indicates slippery roads when temperatures fall below zero; and interactive lights along the highway that light up as cars approach. Wind lights that light up using the draft produced by cars and priority induction lanes that can recharge electric cars as they run along them also feature.

The luminous road markings and weather indicating roads will debut in the Dutch province of Brabant in the middle of next year. The wind powered and interactive lights along with the induction lanes are also planned to go into service in the next years.

A start-up company in the U.S. has developed a way to turn solar panels into roadways that can support a load of up to 80 tons, cut down on greenhouse gases and provide supplemental power.  In addition, the roadway becomes an interactive driver experience.  The lit panels would light the roadway, melt ice and snow and alert drivers of debris.

What do you think of solar roadways?