Netherlands launches glow-in-the-dark roads

Kyle White,

, Last Updated: 1:40 PM ET

An intriguing new pilot plan in the Netherlands has just launched which sees roadside lighting ditched in favour of glow in the dark road markings that charge during daylight hours and emit light for up to eight hours as night.

The roll out of the markings remains quite limited initially, with just 500 meters of road on the country's N329 highway playing host to the new markings, with more expected to come online should tests prove successful (read: it doesn't cause a whole heap of accidents).

The markings are the brainchild of a team led by Daan Roosegaard, who have created a special mix of road paint and bio-luminizing powder to create a hybrid paint that will absorb daytime light and emit a soft green glow at night. Speaking with the BBC, Roosegaard outlined the thinking behind the pilot scheme, saying:

The government is shutting down streetlights at night to save money, energy is becoming much more important than we could have imagined 50 years ago. This road is about safety and envisaging a more self-sustainable and more interactive world.

I was completely amazed that we somehow spend billions on the design and R&D of cars but somehow the roads - which actually determine the way our landscape looks - are completely immune to that process.I forced them to look at movies of jellyfish. How does a jellyfish give light? It has no solar panel, it has no energy bill.

And then we went back to the drawing board and came up with these paints which charge up in the daytime and give light at night

If the initial roll-out proves to be successful, Roosegaard has big plans for the paint, including temperature-reactive markings that would illuminate to signify sub-zero temperatures.