I was completely amazed that we somehow spend billions on the design and R&D of cars but somehow the roads – which actually determine the way our landscape looks like – are completely immune to that process. They are still stuck in the Middle Ages, so to speak.
The first, and perhaps most obvious, upgrade to our roads is to use a phosphorescent paint for the road markings. Inspired by deep sea jelly fish it fuels the idea of a energy-neutral street, as the paint “charges up” during daylight hours and then glows throughout the night. This is ideal in rural areas where existing street lighting is minimal, and perhaps one day even removes the need for any altogether.
Following on from that idea, in the colder months temperatures can drop quickly leaving drivers unaware about looming icy and inclement conditions. The use of a dynamic temperature-sensitive paint would provide a simple alert system to drivers by ghosting up snowflakes on the road to act as a warning system when the tarmac becomes cold enough for ice to form.
This has been on my blog to-do list for a while now, and have been prompted again to post it having seen the same subject on the BBC site yesterday.
With the technology of cars advancing impressively to include all manner of smart sensors, «green» electric motors, parking assistance, and even driverless cars, none of this really matters if we don’t have suitable roads to drive on.
Roads. Just a bit of tarmac laid down (relatively) smoothly with some painted lines, right? Well, yes, but why can’t we incorporate some technology into them. Improving them to adapt to traffic and weather, making them more sustainable, making them safer.
Well that’s exactly what Daan Roosegaarde of Studio Roosegaard thought when he set about designing technological advances to our roads as part of a Smart Highways project.
I was completely amazed that we somehow spend billions on the design…
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