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Europe: Take A Trip Down The Glowing, Electric-Car Charging Highway Of The Future

A new “smart highway” being developed in the Netherlands has lane lines made by lights that can be altered and even lights up a warning when it gets icy.

Innovation in transportation typically happens at the level of the vehicle. The past decade has seen the growth of hybrids, electrics, and velomobiles. Every new year brings new car models, and busses, trains, and subways continue to get nicer and “smarter” (with real-time transit information, for example).

So why does the other side of the transportation equation–the roads we drive on–seem to stay more or less frozen in time?

In the Netherlands, a design studio has made it its mission to make transportation safer and more environmentally friendly by redesigning not the car, but the roads themselves, as “smart highways,” complete with glow-in-the-dark markings, temperature-responsive paint that lights up as ice crystals when temperatures dip below freezing, interactive lighting that illuminates only when cars pass, and a lane equipped with induction coils to recharge electric cars as they drive by.


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