A pair of design firms from the Netherlands have come up with an idea that will make you say “what took so long?” The two Dutch companies have designed what they call a “smart highway,” a new kind of road that communicates information to the drivers on it.
Basically, the idea is that we shouldn’t worry so much about designing the cars of the future and should instead spend a bit of time upgrading what our highways can do. The “smart highway” would glow in the dark paint, have paint that can appear and disappear under certain conditions and have roadside lights that react to the cars around them.
It doesn’t take too much brainstorming to think of cases where dynamic lights built into a stretch of road would be very beneficial. Drivers could be warned of icy roads, accidents or construction work ahead.
The design was named the “best future concept” at the Dutch Design Awards, probably because it’s pretty damn awesome.
In addition to being awesome, it sounds like it’s actually going to happen in real life. The first few meters of the futuristic highway are set to be built in the Netherlands by the middle of next year. Obviously, it will be at least a few years before we see any of this technology on North American roads–but it might not be much longer than that.
Below, some concept art: