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This Road Glows in the Dark

If you've ever been on a dark country road, you know how hard it can be to see just where the asphalt ends and the rest of the world begins. Well, in the Netherlands, they've proposed a clever solution: glow in the dark road paint

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If you’ve ever been on a dark country road, you know how hard it can be to see just where the asphalt ends and the rest of the world begins. Well, in the Netherlands, designeres have proposed a clever solution: glow in the dark road paint.

Here’s what it would look like:

NMA News Direct writes that glow-in-the-dark roads aren’t the only innovations the two companies behind this idea came up with. They’re also thinking about temperature-responsive paint that could warn drivers of below-freezing temperatures and the consequent dangers of ice; about interactive lights that turn on when cars go by; about wind lights powered by the drafts of cars; and about lanes that charge electric cars as they drive. According to NMA News:

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.

Slate explains how the project will unfold:

The Netherlands is wisely starting small, with a pilot project in the province of Brabant scheduled to begin later this year. But those are only the first two stages of the grand Dutch plan to put our highways to shame. The next steps include windmills that light up as cars pass by, and “induction lanes” that would charge electric cars while they drive.

Whether the glowing lines will cut down accidents at night is still up in the air, but only time, and driving, will tell.

More from Smithsonian.com:

The End of the Road
Drive the Road to Hana

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About Rose Eveleth
Rose Eveleth

Rose Eveleth is a writer for Smart News and a producer/designer/ science writer/ animator based in Brooklyn. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Scientific American, Story Collider, TED-Ed and OnEarth.

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