Netherlands’ Glowing Highways Aren’t Working As Planned, Any Idea Why?

In October 2012, we reported that Netherlands will have glow-in-the-dark smart highways by 2013. There is a special paint anointed on some highways which can show interactive signs to drivers at night and can charge electric vehicles on the run. Although such idea is really remarkable, unfortunately Netherlands’ glowing highways aren’t working as planned.

Glow-in-the-dark Paint

The smart highway, based on a special glow-light paint, has been designed by Dutch designer Daan Roosegaarde in collaboration with infrastructure management group Heijmans. The paint has special luminous powder. During the day, this luminous powder can ‘charge’ itself from the sunlight and can glow itself during night up to 10 hours.

Glow-in-the-dark Paint - 2

Besides, the two Dutch companies have also designed a “dynamic paint” for icy or colder climates. During snow fall or colder climates, roads as well as the marks on roads will be covered by snow. That time glow-in-the-dark paint won’t work and the dynamic paint will show its performance. Dynamic paint will activate freshly formed paint automatically over the lines to warn drivers to drive slowly or to slow down.

Glow-in-the-dark Paint - 3

Except glow-in-the-dark paint and Dynamic paint, the road safety design also comes with Interactive Light, Induction Priority Lane, and Wind Light. That’s not all. Electric vehicles will be charged automatically while they will be going on an electric priority lane.

Glow-in-the-dark Paint - 4

Designers had believed that glow-in-the-dark paint will make night driving safer. But unfortunately Netherlands’ glowing highways aren’t working as planned.


The problem is that the light-absorbing stripes on highway (provincial road N329) do not give off a consistent level of light across the 500m (0.3 mile) stretch. Hence, it’s been temporarily taken offline and the glow-in-the-dark system will now be revisited after the paint is further developed in a laboratory.

What do you think guys? Are glowing highways a nice thing? Or it’s just a waste of time and money of the two Dutch companies? Share your thoughts as well as ideas in the comment box below.

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