It’s one thing for the rest of the world to have way cooler trains than us. America has chosen car culture, for better or worse. But now comes word that the Netherlands is building way awesomer highways, while ours are stuck in the 20th Century. The Netherlands! If this isn’t a wake-up call for the United States to invest more in infrastructure, I don’t know what is. (OK, maybe this.)

Wired UK reported in October that the Dutch design firm Studio Roosegaarde and infrastructure management group Heijmans have come up with a “smart highway” concept that will replace standard road markings with photoluminescent powder that charges in the daylight and glows through the night. When the temperature drops below freezing, the road will automatically light up with snowflake indicators to warn drivers of possible ice, sort of like the Coors beer cans that turn blue when they’re extra cold.

Photo Credit: A futuristic highway that can save energy and improve road safety is set to be installed in the Netherlands by mid-2013. Screenshot / YouTube