One bike lane in Pruszków, Poland stands out from all the rest. Why? It glows a bright blue.
The luminous path was installed by tech company TPA Sp. z o.o. TPA President and CEO Igor Ruttmar explained how the technology works in an interview with ABC News. Particles called luminophores in the asphalt collect energy from the sun during the day. At night, the energy allows the path to glow for up to 10 hours.
"We hope that the glowing bicycle path will help prevent bicycle and pedestrian accidents at night," Ruttmar explained. "It's a problem here in Poland, especially in the areas farther from the cities that are darker and more invisible in the night."
The color the path glows in is reportedly arbitrary—the first path is blue because TPA believed that it complemented the surrounding countryside. Glowing paths may be installed in Warsaw soon, and in multiple colors.
This isn't the first time that light-up paths have been introduced—Proteq Starpath was launched in 2013 as a UV ray-absorbing sprayable veneer that glows in the night.
Technology like this provides more energy-efficient lighting solutions. In city living, streetlights contribute hugely to government spending—glowing paths avoid the financial and environmental costs of overhead lighting. Perhaps we'll see glowing paths near our own homes in the future.