smart-highwayRoads of the future might be supplemented with various combinations of sensors, smart paints and energy harvesting devices, a new report says. It sounds crazy, and the implementation of these so-called “smart highways” is still a long way off, but Studio Roosegaarde, a Dutch design firm, feels it has the key to producing something of substance.

According to preliminary plans, Roosegaarde would implement five very distinct interactive technologies: Dynamic Paint, Glow-in-the-Dark Road, Interactive Light, Window Light and Induction Priority Lane.

Basically, each of the five would react to various ambiance. Say the weather is dipping below freezing: Dynamic Paint would display warning symbols on the road to alert motorists. Glow-in-the-Dark Road, as its name suggests, would implement luminescent paint on dividing lines, which would absorb sunlight and glow at night for increased driving visibility.

Both Interactive Light and Wind Light would act as “as needed” light sources. Interactive Light would be designed as a way to cut down on wasted light, and only switch on when it detects an approaching car. “The light grows brighter as the car comes near, then dims as it passes,” Gizmag wrote. Wind Light would only turn on as a result of a car’s trailing draft; it’s unclear how technology like that would decipher between an actual passing vehicle and regular wind.

Lastly, and this idea has been on the table before, is Induction Priority Lane for electric cars. Simply, induction coils would be embedded under the road to charge cars as they trudge along. That’s like, infinite gas mileage.

As of now, Roosegaarge, which garnered Best Future Concept by the Dutch Design Awards 2012, plans to have a prototype road in working order in 2013.

[via Gizmag]