E3 Spark Plugs Digs Netherlands’ New Glowing Green Highways

The Netherlands’ new glow-in-the-dark highway markings may do away with streetlights.

Not only is it designed to save energy, but we here at E3 Spark Plugs think it’s pretty darn cool, too. The Netherlands’ new “smart highway” features glow-in-the-dark markings in place of street lights. The result – a ride that feels a lot like you’ve been sucked into a futuristic video game.

Designed by Dutch artist and innovator Daan Roosegaarde and a Dutch civil engineering firm, Heijmans, the glowing green strips line just a 0.3-mile stretch of the Netherlands’ N329 highway in Oss. But it’s just a first step. If all goes well, highways across the entire country eventually will glow.

Here’s the deal – Roosengarde was working to develop an energy-neutral streetlight when he got a different idea. Why not do away with streetlights altogether? After all, they’re expensive to build and can cause serious injury and damage when a car slams into one.

New glowing street line technology eventually may be used to ward drivers in the Netherlands about dangerous weather ahead.

His idea – integrate light into the street lines with paint containing photo-luminescing power that charges on the sun’s light during the day. At night, on a full charge, those powder grains give off a bright green glow for up to eight hours.

Next up: a system wherein patterns warning drivers of bad weather on the way will appear on the roadway.