The Dutch unveil world’s first glow-in-the-dark highway

Tonight – in the dark – the INDEX: Award winning design ‘Smart Highway’ opened its first stretch of glow-in-the-dark road on highway N329 near the city of Oss in The Netherlands.

On a 500 meter stretch of seemingly ordinary highway in the province of Noord-Brabant in The Netherlands, Dutch car drivers were tonight greeted not only by the country’s minister for Infrastructure and The Environment, Melanie Schultz van Haegen, but also hundreds of international guests and members of the press, who had gathered in the road’s grassy center to witness the official unveiling of the world’s first glow-in-the-dark road.

Tonight’s unveiling of the ‘Glowing Lines’ – as they have dubbed the roads’ flourescent side lines – is the first step towards implementing Dutch designer Daan Roosegaarde’s complete vision of intelligent roads across The Netherlands and more modestly: the entire world. A vision for roads containing e.g. light sensors, glowing trees and plants along the side of the road an a ‘priority lane’ capable of charging electric cars as they are moving – AND earned him an INDEX: Award in 2013 along with a €100,000 prize check.

Daan Roosegaarde says: “Glowing Lines is just the first step, but tonight we have shown that we have the guts to take on a project of this magnitude. And that is the most important thing when it comes to innovation: having the guts to actually begin to implement an idea like this.”

The paint for Glowing Lines was developed by Roosegaarde’s partners in crime for the Smart Highway project, construction group Heijmans, and absorbs light during the day. It then glows for up to eight hours, showing motorists where the edge of the road is and other key markings.

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