Gotta love those Dutch folks.

Designer Daan Roosegaarde is teaming up with Heijmans Infrastructure to dream up smart highway lanes that not only give drivers weather information by "glowing" but will eventually be able to help recharge electric vehicles.

Presented at Dutch Design Week this week, the "glowing" concept involves using a special paint on highways that will glow at night for as long as 10 hours and will allow drivers better safety by, for instance, illuminating ice crystals on the road. That advancement may be on Netherlands highways as soon as next year.

Additionally, the designer is proposing the installation of induction coils in some Dutch highways. Those would be able to wirelessly charge electric-drive vehicles while they are in motion. Which, while not the only time we've heard of something like this, would be really cool.

Check out the press release from Roosegaarde and Heijmans below.
Show full PR text
First meters Smart Highway 'Best Future Concept' at Dutch Design Award

Roosegaarde and Heijmans are building the 'Route 66 of the Future'

Designer and innovator Daan Roosegaarde and Heijmans Infrastructure are presenting the first prototypes of the 'Smart Highway' during the Dutch Design Week. Using the latest techniques, they are building the first 'Smart Highways' in Europe, roads that are more sustainable, safe and intuitive.

Selected 'Best Future Concept' by the Dutch Design Awards, these highways will be realized mid 2013 in the Netherlands.

Smart Highway

Instead of focusing on the car to innovate the driving experience, Daan Roosegaarde and Heijmans are innovating the highway. Innovative designs such as the Glow-in-the-Dark Road, Dynamic Paint, Interactive Light, Induction Priority Lane and Wind Light will be realized within the following five years. The goal is to make roads that are more sustainable and interactive by using interactive lights, smart energy and road signs that adapt to specific traffic situations.

First prototypes Glow-in-the-dark Road and Dynamic Paint

The pathways of the Glow-in-the-dark roads are treated with a special foto-luminising powder making extra lighting unnecessary. Charged in day light, the Glow-in-the-dark road illuminates the contours of the road at night up to 10 hours. Dynamic Paint, paint that becomes visible in response to temperature fluctuations, enables the surface of roads to communicate relevant and adequate traffic information directly to drivers. For example ice-crystals become visible on the surface of the road when it's cold and slippery. Although Dynamic Paint and Glow-in-the-dark Road will be realized next year, the first pieces of the 'Smart Highway' are open for the public during the Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven, the Netherlands.

Updating the Dutch Landscape

The unique collaboration between Roosegaarde and Heijmans is a true example for the creative industry and those multinationals with a desire for innovation. The design and interactivity from Studio Roosegaarde and the specific knowledge and craftsmanship of Heijmans combine the best of both worlds. Despite their big differences, they focus on the process instead of the product and that is innovating the Dutch landscape.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 29 Comments
      EZEE
      • 2 Years Ago
      This is a copy paste, because I didn't feel like typing this all out... Disadvantages include: Lower efficiency, waste heat - The main disadvantages of inductive charging are its lower efficiency and increased resistive heating in comparison to direct contact. Implementations using lower frequencies or older drive technologies charge more slowly and generate heat within most portable electronics. More costly - Inductive charging also requires drive electronics and coils in both device and charger, increasing the complexity and cost of manufacturing. Slower charging - due to the lower efficiency, devices can take longer to charge when supplied power is equal. Inconvenience - When a mobile device is connected to a cable, it can be freely moved around and operated while charging. In some implementations of inductive charging (such as the Qi standard), the mobile device must be left on a pad, and thus can't be moved around or easily operated while charging. Incompatibility - Unlike (for example) a standardized MicroUSB charging connector, there are no De facto standards, potentially leaving a consumer, organisation or manufacturer with redundant equipment when a standard emerges. Newer approaches reduce transfer losses through the use of ultra thin coils, higher frequencies, and optimized drive electronics. This results in more efficient and compact chargers and receivers, facilitating their integration into mobile devices or batteries with minimal changes required. These technologies provide charging times comparable to wired approaches, and they are rapidly finding their way into mobile devices. For example, the Magne Charge vehicle recharger system employed high-frequency induction to deliver high power at an efficiency of 86% (6.6 kW power delivery from a 7.68 kW power draw).
        MTN RANGER
        • 2 Years Ago
        @EZEE
        While we speak, the IEEE standards board is working with the major wireless charging companies on a wireless car charging standard. The efficiency of wireless charging is now comparable to wired EVSEs. Evatran has 94% and working on 97% for retail version due out soon.
        DaveMart
        • 2 Years Ago
        @EZEE
        Analysis without numbers! Is that why your rocket crashed? :-)
          EZEE
          • 2 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          I have two numbers. I said good day sir!
          DaveMart
          • 2 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          Then make sure you use them wisely, if sparingly!
      Smith Jim
      • 2 Years Ago
      Inductive in road-charging would be ENORMOUSLY expensive. Just because something sounds like a cool idea doesn't make it practical.
      Tysto
      • 2 Years Ago
      In-road inductive charging might be economical if it could be done with a continuous cable or narrow rail retrofit to major highways. Since every car would be charging continuously as it drives, the transfer rate wouldn't have to be very high. Then cars would only need a 40-mile battery for off-highway driving. However, my guess is that battery tech will outpace in-road charging schemes. If the Model S cost $35k instead of $77k, the whole discussion would be moot.
      brotherkenny4
      • 2 Years Ago
      In road inductive charging makes EVs look as far out in the future and as cost effective as the 'hydrogen economy". What with the huge cost of infrastructure improvement. Hey, I have a plan, let's create a fear term, how about range anxiety, it will get the dumb people nervous about the technology. Then we can spring some kind of solution on them to ease their fears, meanwhile making the whole thing economically unreasonable. That is, if we can't get them to like hydrogen. Hydrogen or "in road inductive charging" are the only thing the consumer will accept said the guy selling ICE cars.
        oktrader
        • 2 Years Ago
        @brotherkenny4
        Some of us merely think the idea too expensive or impractical. Others find it worth further consideration, but for you… it is clearly the work of Satan. Honestly, brother k, you need to pray about the sins of idol worship, envy, gossip, and boastfulness: Idol worship because somehow you have come to believe in a huge evil force, symbolized by an oil derrick, that lurks behind all the evil that you see in the world. Envy because you are angered by every idea beyond your understanding. Gossip because you see fit to at best imply and at worst state openly that the proponents of this study are aligned with evil. And finallly boastfulness because at the center of this eddy of iniquity lies your perception that anything counter to your notion of good is driven by global forces of evil. As penance, you need to seek any connection between Daan Roosegaarde -- a modern techno-designer of everything from networks to clothing -- with Royal Dutch Shell or Ford or whomever you think breathes the sulfurs of hell. Likewise, please find AT LEAST one member of Heijmans Infrastructure Executive, Supervisory, or Management boards whose CV aligns him with Beelzebub. When you can, let us know how your vespers are going. In the meantime, might I suggest xanax?
      Chris M
      • 2 Years Ago
      One interesting alternative is to use those induction coils as a linear motor to literally pull the car along the road. With suitable controls, the same set of coils could either transfer power or act as a motor, whichever is more useful and efficient at the moment.
      sdn
      • 2 Years Ago
      Everyone says it can't be done... until someone figures out a way to do it. It would be cool to see these electric freeways also used as solar power generators.
      Giza Plateau
      • 2 Years Ago
      Certainly would be nice to have rangeless electric cars but I'd like to see some cost calculations. It might be possible to have a km strip of hard charging every 20km or so. Maybe steel wires like power lines and be cost effective that way.
        DaveMart
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Giza Plateau
        Oak Ridge reckon they can do it for less than $1 million a mile by grouping the chargers into clusters with central control of the group, so you don't have to dig all the road up: http://www.technologyreview.com/computing/39657/page2/ What I find dubious is that you would need one heck of a transfer rate to power up the cars in the fraction of a second during which they pass over the charge plate. Everyone goes on about the inefficiency, always comparing it to batteries and without counting the inefficiency of lugging around a huge battery, let alone charging it. The correct basis for comparison is ICE cars using imported oil, as that is what is actually running around for most traffic, certainly in Europe. Everything is lossy, that is entropy for you, the point is are the losses affordable given the advantages you accrue by using the system. It is way more energy efficient using a bike, but you can't travel 200 miles at speed doing so, and short of the Tesla you can't in a battery car either.
        DaveMart
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Giza Plateau
        An electric highway could also powerfully assist trucks and reduce fuel consumption.
      Jesse Gurr
      • 2 Years Ago
      Don't cars have to be setup so that you can charge while in motion? As I understand, cars can only charge while they are sitting still. Maybe because they don't want you driving away with the plug still in. But even with that not all cars have the hardware for this but that can change. Even with all that, will the chargers that are built into the roads be able to give the amount of power the car needs in less than a second? I'm thinking about the charging pads being tested now, and there would be a limited range that power can be transmitted. So will we have to install those pads every 30 feet or so to get somewhat of a constant charge? Because directly over the pad will be the most power drawn and will get less the farther away you get from it until the next pad. I guess we could build it like a maglev train track or something i guess, but that sounds like way too much trouble. The biggest problem would be outfitting the roads since they will most likely have to be dug up and replaced with the road with charger installed. Plus all the power lines to feed the power necessary. Sounds like an expensive undertaking. They barely have enough funds to keep the roads up, where are the funds for a project like this come from?
        Chris M
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Jesse Gurr
        They'd use multiple overlapping induction pads, with controls to sequentially activate the pads as a suitably equipped EV drove over them. I'd assume this wouldn't be free, but would be automatically billed to the driver's account. That could pay back the financing costs of constrution and eventually produce a profit, even with a per-mile cost less than the per-mile fuel cost for gassers or diesels.
      Aaron Schwarz
      • 2 Years Ago
      Good idea :) Inductive charging in a special "slow lane" more coupling time gives greater net transfer :) Considering how much oil/ gas is subsidized by the government, it makes sense to give the alternative technology some help too. Inductive charging works great. The philips sonicare toothbrushes have been using the technology for a long time! Consider also that someone could install a charging mat in their parking garage space to provide similar inductive charging sans cables while a capable ev is parked above the mat. Woot Woot PHEV and EV's FTW Tesla Model S Epic ^^
      lordedardstark1
      • 2 Years Ago
      Just place powdered plutonium along the road, it will not only glow for a really long time, but I also believe that it's energy could be captured from moving vehicles.
      ericmarseille
      • 2 Years Ago
      As expensive as it would be, equipping the highways of Europe with in-the-road recharging devices would enable electric cars and trucks to be truly ubiquitous, thus freeing us Europeans from 25% of our oil expenses. Don't forget : We Europeans DON'T HAVE OIL. Even if the eventual price was, say, in the order of 1 trillion €, it would pay for itself in one or two decades (Europe's expenses in oil per annum : $ 500 billion, let's put the road total at $ 125 billion) ; of course, not all the benefits would come at once, but neither the costs. This would : - Give a badly needed impulse to our economy by creating hundreds of thousands of jobs all around Europe - Greatly improve our energetic security in case of political crisis ('73 anyone?) - Loosen the political and financial links we've been forced to maintain with the most barbaric, oppressive and inhuman societies on earth, thus also helping us in our fight of islamic terrorism - Give quicker access to clean energy to the transportation share of energy use, which in turn would accelerate the ongoing transformation from fossil-fuel energy to green energy, AND, considerably reduce our CO2 emissions, for please don't forget that we ALL have a Damocles sword hanging over our heads in terms of climate change... Now the only things that could threaten this plan, if adopted, would be first the current debt crisis, and more importantly in my opinion the threat of affordable fuel-cell vehicules commercialization, which won't be there before at least one generation for sure, but it would certainly be considered as a waste to finish such a gradiose infrastructure at the split moment it has become obsolete. Carlos Ghosn himself, who is the most outspoken advocate of electric cars, says they're a temporary solution, before the affordable fuel-cell vehicule kicks in.
        XJ Yamaha
        • 2 Years Ago
        @ericmarseille
        I guess I was under the impression that Russia was actually a pretty large supplier of oil....
        Marcopolo
        • 2 Years Ago
        @ericmarseille
        ericmarseille " We Europeans DON'T HAVE OIL." Ahem, Hate to mention the facts, but Europe is quite significant Oil producing area. Barrels per day: Norway 2,350,000 United Kingdom 1,502,000 Denmark 262,100 Ukraine 99,930 France 70,820 Netherlands 57,190 Poland 34,140 Belarus 31,400 Spain 27,230 Croatia 23,960 Austria 21,880 Hungary 21,430 Serbia 11,400 Belgium 11,220 Czech Republic 10,970 Finland 8,718 Greece 6,779 Lithuania 6,333 Albania 5,400 Sweden 4,833 Portugal 4,721 Slovakia 4,114 Switzerland 3,488 Bulgaria 3,227 Ireland 1,441 Slovenia 50 (Russia) So you can see even without Russia, (some of which is in Asia) Europe does produce Oil ! Not Saudi Arabia, but Oil !
          Spec
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Marcopolo
          No, they are NOT a significant oil producing area. The only two significant ones on that list are Norway and the UK. And both of those are already suffering declining production. The UK is currently transitioning from being an oil exporter to an oil importer. The rest of that oil production is pretty trivial. Perhaps they can engineer a tight-oil revolution by doing some North Dakota style fracking. But they may not have the geology for it. Europe is a big oil importer. This is part of the reason why they taxed gas so high . . . to force themselves to be more efficient with it and build public transportation system.s
          DaveMart
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Marcopolo
          UK oil production is dropping like a stone, and Norway fairly fast. For imports check out here: http://mazamascience.com/OilExport/ For the Eurozone alone there is a 10 million barrels/day deficit, The UK is also now in deficit, and very rapidly getting worse.
          ericmarseille
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Marcopolo
          Except for the United Kingdom (nowhere near self-sufficient) and Norway (not in the EU, guess why?), Europe's oil production is a drop in our collective oil tank (in fact, a few percent). Funny how some of you Yanks are so obviously ignorant of Europe that you haven't grabbed the concept that our social, economic, and in some aspects cultural transformation for the last 40 years revolves in its entirety around replacing oil as a cheap and convenient source of energy. Now mentioning Russia as "part of Europe", I mean, with an economic, politic and social meaning simply leaves me speechless...Just imagine people telling you that you're the same as bolivians or Salvadorians, because those countries are geographically in America (:o)
        Dave
        • 2 Years Ago
        @ericmarseille
        1 trillion € would be a drop in the bucket
      Nick Kordich
      • 2 Years Ago
      Glow in the dark paint? Achievable, but it could reduce contrast with roadway markings, such as lane indicators. It hasn't been done before because reflective paint is so much brighter when hit by headlights. In-the-road recharging? Ridiculously expensive and energy inefficient. A mile of roadway would cover as much area as five-hundred parking spaces - electrifying every parking spot in a city would make more sense than the roads in between them. If you're going to spend unrealistic amounts of money and energy because it "would be really cool," propose a full MagLev roadway. Does anyone have green/'smart' road surface ideas that are scalable? Two interesting technologies I've seen are rubberized asphalt concrete and pervious concrete. The former recycles ground-up tires as aggregate. It results in a quieter, longer lasting road surface that requires less road salt since it doesn't ice-over as easily. And it's darker, lanes and markers show up better against it, so it even requires painting less often. Arizona pioneered it but I've driven on it in Washington and California and it's a pleasure compared to a normal road - surprisingly quiet, it's the next best thing to electric in that respect. Pervious concrete is porous, allowing water to drain through it, which could prevent roadway flooding. Currently it isn't feasible for use in roadways, as it doesn't stand up to wear as well, but the concept might be adaptable to a freeway - rather than using a proud composition, creating weep holes out of a dissolving/biodegradable material embedded in the roadway during construction could support in-road drainage without weakening the roadway. An engineered solution could better handle drainage, not only improving driving conditions but managing runoff into surrounding areas better than letting it sheet off the surface. How about RFID reflectors? RFIDs are extremely cheap, and could feed back to a car exact position data, both in large scale (longitude and latitude) and position within the lane. This would result in bulletproof lane keeping, much more accurate I would think than optical means alone, bringing self-driving cars closer to fruition. If the the car in front of you could relay its exact speed and position, adaptive cruise control would have another means of verifying how much distance it should be leaving. I'm not sure that vehicle-based RFID scanners are up to the task, but it's a technology that is sure to continue to evolve.
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