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Old 11-03-2012, 12:37 PM   #1
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Default How Designers Plan To Create 'The Route 66 Of The Future'

The folks behind the Dutch design lab Studio Roosegaarde have come up with some outrageous ideas (a vanishing cocktail dress! A sustainable dance floor!). So you know when they partner with a construction company to conceptualize The Future Of The Highway, as they did at Dutch Design Week recently, it's going to be good. Also: weird.

But not so weird that their vision won't be realized. In mid-2013, some of the earliest concepts will be implemented on a stretch of road in Holland, then later, if all goes well, on blacktop across the rest of Europe.

Those concepts include: glow-in-the-dark roads, asphalt paint that transforms in response to road conditions, and lanes that double as electric car chargers.

Why redesign highways? "By focusing on highways instead of cars, we're innovating the Dutch landscape to make 'smart driving' possible for everyone (instead of those that can afford the latest cars)," Studio Roosegaarde's Emina Sendijarevic says over email. And if it all works out, it could be more than just a cool way to show off the road-building gadgets we have at our disposal. "It's about safety, creating awareness but also making roads energy-neutral in terms of lighting," says Studio Roosegaarde founder Daan Roosegaarde, "and most of all: creating the experience of an icon, the Route 66 of the future."

Herewith are the key features of that "Route 66 of the future":

Dynamic Paint At Dutch Design Week: Studio Roosegaarde & Heijmans


This is a paint that becomes visible to drivers based on certain "contexts," explains Sendijarevic. When it gets icy out, white icons of snowflakes can show up on the road to warn people about the hazard, or another icon might give a heads up about an accident down the way. It's already been in use for 30 years--bathmats that change color when they're too hot for babies is one of Sendijarevic's examples--but it was "the implementation that was lacking."

Interactive Light: Studio Roosegaarde & Heijmans


What if we could save power on highway lights by using them less, but also using them better? That's a big part of the project. Glow-in-the-dark portions of the highway could charge during the day, then light up at night, saving energy. The team also wants to turn off lights when cars aren't around, Sendijarevic says, or even use lights that "follow the car, chaperoning them home safely." Some of the power this would require could be snagged by cars producing wind as they zoom by, ideally putting a buzzing, traffic-fueled ecosystem in homeostasis.

Electric Priority Lane: Studio Roosegaarde & Heijmans


One of the most out-there (and also most interesting) ideas of the project is creating what's, more or less, a gigantic car charger. (Literally. Something that charges your car.) A certain lane, called the "‘Induction Priority Lane," would use magnetic fields under the lane to charge an electric car, "the same as charging your electric toothbrush," Sendijarevic says.

Prototypes of the dynamic paint and glow-in-the-dark road concepts are slated for implementation next year in Oss, North-Brabant, Holland.
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Old 11-04-2012, 02:38 PM   #2
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This is all a bunch of crazy talk: Next they'll think it's possible to construct buildings higher than fifty floors or being able to access the Internet without wires.

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Old 11-06-2012, 06:43 AM   #3
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isn't the route 66 of the future already built several times over?

Wasn't it 95 or something that I drove from Chicago to Las Vegas? Forget the name of that interstate I went on.
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Old 11-06-2012, 07:56 AM   #4
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Good concepts. But Id be happy if roads were smoother, especially around bridges.
Maybe the designer should start working on ways to improve pavement resistance to elements and pressure. (Heavy weight trucks cause pavement to shift, causing waves)

Getting that first part done should increase safety and mpg for everyone.

Here is my concept of a better town road.
Pavement roads where there are no manholes scattered on the lanes. All manholes are on the sidewalk.
No digging allowed. Keep the silk smooth.
Built with a heater system that would melt snow. Heat pipes powered by burning trash collected from the town residents comes to mind. This would eliminate plows and salt trucks.
High compressed pavement. My belief is that the waves get created because of heat and low compressed pavement.

I can has design too
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Old 11-06-2012, 10:26 AM   #5
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A town in Holland does such a thing. However, I think the amount of power to generate the needed distances would outweigh the projected use.

Example: http://www.hollandbpw.com/Green_Init...lt_System.aspx

Key points...
The system can melt approximately 1 inch of snow per hour at 15-20 degrees F
This brings the total area coverage to approximately 10.5 acres

My thoughts...
10.5 acres is not a lot.
This is the excess from one local generator, and it has to be continual and then discharged.
Local. Not many towns have local power plants. (And good luck trying to get them built).

Example: here's 11 acres: http://lightwork.typepad.com/.a/6a00...2bc6970c-800wi

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