We have had high visibility road markings in the UK for quite some time now, and then, of course, we also have cats eyes. However, a new technology being tested in the Netherlands could surpass all of them.
The new paint they have used absorbs sunlight during the day, and then glows for up to 10 hours once the sun goes down. The designers think the new technology has the potential to make street lights redundant, saving local authorities a small fortune in energy bills. This sounds impressive, but will it actually prove to be as big a success as they predict? One things for sure, our own Highways Agency are keeping a close eye on the tests.
The designer of the paint, Daan Roosegaarde, has been an inventor for some time. He’s previous inventions have included items that are sensitive to changes in temperature. He has used this knowledge whilst developing other potential systems for our road, such as ice warnings could appear on the road under certain temperatures. He told the BBC:
“I was completely amazed that we somehow spend billions on the design and R&D of cars but somehow the roads – which actually determine the way our landscape looks – are completely immune to that process. The government is shutting down street lights at night to save money, energy is becoming much more important than we could have imagined 50 years ago. This road is about safety and envisaging a more self-sustainable and more interactive world.”
Whilst this all sounds great, the tests are going to have to return some pretty impressive results to convince our government to make the considerable investment in this technology.
Is It A Good Idea?
We are in no doubt the glow in the dark paint is a good idea. We are not sure about the condition warnings on the road. In a world where all the data points to the fact that increasing the speed limit and minimising road furniture helps the flow of traffic and decreases accidents, the powers that be seem constantly determined to reduce speed limits and add more things to distract motorists.