RE: Solar Roads and the Urban Fabric of the Future

Overall, I think that the idea of using new technology to inform drivers, pedestrians, any user of the road/sidewalk is a great idea. However, when I think of bright LED lights filling up the roads, I think accident but also how this idea could be used differently and more efficiently. After some research, I came across this project that actually relates to the one you are talking about. It is another firm using technology, lighting up the road and creating smart highways. The difference I see between your mentioned project and this one, is the need of information and perhaps usefulness that this project develops.

Smart Highway Concept for Winter, updating drivers for current weather conditions

The project I am referring to is by Dutch firm Studio Roosegaarde and their future concept for smart highways which actually won the award for Best Future Concept. The concept drives, no pun intended, on creating interactive, sustainable and safe roads. Glow in the dark roads, interactive lights, induction priority lanes and wind light would be used to inform drivers at night of current weather conditions and updates, somewhat similar to the project you talked about. An example of how this technology works is the use of dynamic paint. Throughout the day the powered material absorbs the sunlight throughout the day and luminates up to 10 hours. Further studies by the firm strive to take this project even farther by using this technology to harvest, store and even distribute energy within the surroundings.

Personally I would prefer highways to inform me in this way rather than the LED lights lighting up everywhere I walk in the city and telling me where to Stop and Go. I drive a lot at night when I go home for the weekends due to my classes ending in the evening and sometimes when I come back to campus. Driving in snow and rain with not enough highway lights is never fun so this type of technology would be very helpful in my situation and probably for numerous people as well.

Source: Vinnitskaya , Irina . “Dutch Firm wins Best Future Concept with Smart Highways” 15 Nov 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed 15 Nov 2012. <http://www.archdaily.com/292418&gt;

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