Color-shifting roads warn of ice

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:]

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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