Glow-in-the-dark highway launched in North Brabant
The first public road with glow-in-the-dark lines, named a Smart Highway by the developers, has opened in the city of Oss in North Brabant.
Interactive and sustainable roads
Part futuristic sustainable solution, part art installation, the Smart Highway’s regular lines have been replaced with light-emitting stripes that charge during daytime and glow throughout the night.
This first stretch of Smart Highway has been given the name "Glowing Lines", and is not only energy neutral, but also transforms the landscape into a poetic experience.
While the energy benefits of the Smart Highway are highly appealing from an environmental and infrastructure point of view, the creator also emphasises the beauty and emotional power of the project.
He describes this kind of invention that connects ideology and technology as "techno-poetry" and the experience of travelling along the road as "going through a fairy tale."
The Smart Highway is a project of Studio Roosegaarde, founded by Dutch designer Daan Roosegaarde, and Heijmans, a real estate development and infrastructure company.
Roosegaarde is well-known as an artist and innovator who creates social designs that "explore the relation between people, technology and space."
Roosegaarde and Heijmans have been working on the Smart Highway for years. Before realising the Glowing Lines concept, they initially focused on generating energy via road surfaces that charge when driven over by vehicles and by placing windmills along highways to catch wind gusts caused by passing traffic.
Roosegaarde’s idea has been met with great enthusiasm both locally and internationally, as the concept has been presented to King Willem-Alexander, at the SXSW festival in Austin, and has been widely reported in media around the world.
Photos: Daan Roosegaarde
The project has also been awarded a Dutch Design Award, an Accenture Innovation Award and won the INDEX Award in 2013.
The Dutch Minister of Infrastructure has already requested a Smart Highway design for the Afsluitdijk, the iconic 32 km-long dike that separates the IJsselmeer from the North Sea.
With additional plans to apply the glowing lines system in China and Japan, the Smart Highway concept may soon be going international.
Glowing bike path
The light-emitting techniques of the highway lines will also be applied to a conceptual bike path close to Eindhoven and due to be launched on November 12.
The glowing bike path is inspired by Van Gogh’s painting Starry Night, and runs through the town of Nuenen, where Van Gogh lived and worked early in his career.
Visit the highway