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The Roads of the Future Will Charge Your Car, Keep You from Crashing

Electric cars seem like the perfect solution to reducing smog and our dependence on oil, except for one thing: Batteries just aren't all that great.

by Lara Heintz
Feb 25 2015, 5:05pm

Electric cars seem like the perfect solution to reducing smog and our dependence on oil, except for one thing: Batteries just aren't all that great.

While fast-charging systems like Tesla's Supercharger network can help, Daan Roosegaarde of Studio Roosegaarde in the Netherlands is looking at the problem from a different angle. Why are we focusing on the vehicles and not the roads themselves? After all, roadways are ubiquitous, and have the potential to be transformed into smarter, responsive interfaces.

Enter the Smart Highway, a collaboration between Studio Roosegaarde and Dutch construction company Heijmans that introduces a prototype for what could eventually become the road of tomorrow.

Relying on inexpensive, light-responsive paint, these roads would eventually give drivers information about weather and driving conditions, with lanes dedicated to powering electric cars through induction. Lights would only turn on when arriving cars are sensed, and lanes would eventually have the ability to dynamically change in response to traffic flow. Everything would be solar powered, and would rely on solar panels for cloudy or rainy weather.

It's a significant shift in perspective when it comes to infrastructure design. Face it: roads these days are still the same boring old roads they've always been, and we have the capabilities to make them so much more. Roosegaarde's vision for smarter, more efficient roadways is one that could change the way we look at our future transportation. 

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