9 April 2008
A truly slick idea
For those of us for whom "winter" is more than a theoretical construct, half a foot of snow on the roads can be shrugged off, but half an inch of ice will kill us deader than Chris Dodd's Presidential campaign. And the scariest variation on this theme is dubbed "black ice": you can't see it on the pavement, but it's there, waiting to send you skidding into the median. Gwendolyn is good about reporting the temperature outside, but she can't tell how the roads are with a mere sensor.
Enter the French. The research firm Eurovia is testing a varnish which changes color from white to pink when the surface temperature drops below freezing. Stripe a road with this stuff, and you won't have to wonder if it's just wet or actually frozen.
Obviously the aforementioned half a foot of snow will cover up the stripes, but then you can see half a foot of snow. In the Dakotas, or some other place where they measure annual snowfall in yards, this might not be so useful. But down here, where freezing rain strikes fear into the driver's heart on a regular basis, it's bound to be at least something of a boon, provided it actually works.Posted at 11:10 AM to Driver's Seat , Entirely Too Cool