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See Your Way Clear To A Safer Drive

See Your Way Clear To A Safer Drive

Technology is a wonderful thing. In the space of half a century or so, automotive science has taken mighty leaps forward that would make the Hulk look like he was just mincing about. In a few short decades car reliability and safety have improved beyond the wildest dreams of the early auto innovators.

Maybe because of this those clever boffins have decided to turn their attention to the roads we drive on. Various new surfaces are being tested – including one composite that utilises old shredded tyres, which seems like a sensibly green thing to do – as are solar powered surfaces that heat up to melt snow and ice.

The latest wheeze is to use a glow-in-the-dark high-tech paint on road surfaces. It sounds like the stuff of science fiction but will in fact be tested in the Netherlands during 2013; and you thought they just made round cheese.

Apparently, photo-luminescent powder is mixed with line paint. This will soak up sunlight during the day to ‘power’ the glow at night. Amazing stuff.

The plan is to make driving in the dark a safer thing to do and that’s not really something drivers could argue about. What’s more, there is also an idea for the road surface to change colour dependant on the conditions, thanks to temperature sensitive paint. A cold blue for ice, as a possible example.

Other innovations in the pipeline include motion sensor streetlights that switch on only when a car is approaching. Energy saving is the key here and would be considerably more appropriate than the current British system whereby councils switch off much needed lighting, thus ensuring there is sufficient money left to pay for those special biscuits on the meeting room table.

Other road safety solutions being investigated include low height flat beam lighting for road illumination and special lanes for electric cars that utilise wireless induction to charge the EV’s as they drive over pads! All around the world from Holland to the USA and Japan, scientists are looking at new ways to keep death of the roads.

Spotted the snag in the UK yet? That’s right – potholes. If the appropriate authorities can’t keep up with basic road maintenance, it seems very doubtful that they will invest in high-tech safety solutions. They’ll probably just paint the potholes in some luminous lime-green colour and hope we can dodge them.

This post was written by:

- who has written 474 posts on Motor Blogger.

Geoff is a freelance writer and photographer.

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bG9nZ2VyX0xvZ28uanBnIjtpOjI7czo3MzoiaHR0cDovL21vdG9yYmxvZ2dlci5jby51ay93cC1jb250ZW50L3dvb191cGxvYWRzLzMtTW90b3JfQmxvZ2dlcl9Mb2dvLnBuZyI7fTwvbGk+PGxpPjxzdHJvbmc+d29vX3ZpZGVvX2NhdGVnb3J5PC9zdHJvbmc+IC0gQXV0byBOZXdzPC9saT48L3VsPg==