• Apr 8th 2008 at 8:57AM
  • 10
Problems caused by disappearing traction when roads get icy will be solved when we all get our flying cars - it is the 21st century, after all. Until that long overdue promise is fulfilled, we're all relegated to putting rubber to the road to reach our destinations. The way winter road conditions are currently mitigated involves lots of salt and many trucks. The trucks are pretty much necessary for removal of heavy precipitation, but salting exacts an environmental, as well as financial price. Motorists, too, could benefit from a warning that road surfaces are less than optimal. To that end, France's Eurovia is developing a temperature-sensitive varnish that changes color to provide a visual indication to all road users that the pavement is freezing. Once it warms back up again, the varnish returns to its default hue. Durability trials are underway in several areas of France that experience severe weather, and if the coating holds up well, we could all be watching out for pink stripes in the winter. Thanks for the tip, akhel.

Translated press release after the jump.

[Source: Eurovia via Transport Trends; Photo: news.fr]

Eurovia launches pavement that prevents ice
November 7, 2007
Eurovia, a subsidiary of VINCI Group, develops in its Research Center Mérignac a solution original and unique detection of the onset of freezing on the pavement. This temperature information of the roadway is crucial, the loss of traction on icy pavement remaining a cause of accident serious bodily.

This process includes a thermosensitive said varnishes, colourless to positive temperature, changes color and turns red when the temperature of the roadway falls below 1 ° C. This change of color, reversible, assists in real-time diagnosis of the condition of the roadway. He informs road user-motorist, pedestrian, bicycle-like agent that triggers operations salting, that the risk of ice becomes imminent as we approach the passage of the separation barrier gel.

At this stage of development, Eurovia experiments in real effectiveness and sustainability of this system. It means assessing assisting managers road maintenance period Winter. Indeed, in this respect, triggering salting operations just in time is the principle of background: neither too early to avoid spreading without efficiency and to avoid excess salt adverse to the environment, nor too late to reduce the risk of accident by loss of traction.

Two experiments underway with SAPN and ASF
Eurovia work with highway concessionaires SAPN and ASF, a subsidiary of VINCI, pilot operations on their network size. On motorways, these patches present serious security benefits clients and staff. Specifically, patrol officers will no longer have to get out of their cars to know the temperature of the pavement to trigger preventative salting in time

An experiment is being conducted on the A29 motorway network SAPN. The test area formed five patches lies on a straight line from 50 km near Havre. The patch has been willing to near structures and around sensitive sites to check weather system reliability.
The site selected by ASF is a section of the A89 motorway on the sector of Clermont-Ferrand, subject to harsh winter conditions, including an average of 60 days of snow a year. The process is being implemented in thirty areas tests at high risk of ice.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      good idea in theory, but (here in colorado at least) people will already know if it is slick out. because, you know, there tends to be snow in the air/on the ground. the salts/sand/trucks still need to be used to GIVE traction and clear the roads of the snow/ice. however, this system could be utilized in places that gets freezing rain.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Sounds like a good idea to me. Obviously if it's snowing, drivers should know it's going to be slippery. But, black ice and freezing rain conditions are often times hard to recognize until it's too late.....
      • 7 Years Ago
      So, lets put a gigantic white patch on a black road? Won't that hamper the melting process, resulting in little squares of ice all over the road? Hmm..
      • 7 Years Ago
      if you're a motorcycle rider, you know how dangerous those areas of the road that have been painted over, can be when it rains, or humid out.

      useless & counter intiuitive technology imo.

      • 7 Years Ago
      worthless tech, imo
      • 7 Years Ago
      I predict that if these are implemented somewhere traffic accidents related to loss of traction will increase. This sounds like the kind of technology that would give drivers false confidence about the road surface. A little fear of sliding off the road goes a long way to slowing people down.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I don't get the point really. Maybe in the south where people don't expect ice and snow. As it is we have cars that tell us the outside temperature (some even have warning lights when ice is likely), traffic and weather reports on the radio, this white stuff called snow on the side of the road most of the time in winter and electronic overhead signs that warn us about road conditions. Any idiot who can ignore all of those things and still drive like it's July isn't going to pay attention to pink paint.
        • 7 Years Ago
        this is definitely geared towards moderate climates where surface temperature is not necessarily the same as ambient temp.

        In the north or mountains, from October to April, the road is cold enough for it to be icy, but in the South and Mid-atlantic, the temperatures vary enough that the ground may or may not be cold enough.

        Of course, any time the temperature drops below 32, the news channels have FREEZE WATCH 08 or STORM WATCH 09 if it might rain :-)

        Yes, a lot of us on here are observant of weather conditions and road, but the general population not so much.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Show me a patch on the road that changes color when approaching a speed trap...
      • 7 Years Ago
      What they need to invent is a road that gets chill bumps for extra traction when the temperature goes below 0°C.