The latest challenge for self driving cars is from ‘ghost lines’, which make it difficult for the line recognition software in cars to work correctly.



Ghost markings are formed when old lines are removed and leave a ghost outline of what used to be on the road. Ghost marking typically occur when roads go through layout changes, or when the road is widened and temporary lines are installed.

Lines can be removed through high pressure water jets (over 37,000 PSI), milling, grinding machines or through chemical abrasion. All of these methods have positives and negatives which can have environmental and financial cost implications. 

There is increasing interest in these ghost markings due to the line recognition software in cars having trouble determining whether they are new or ‘ghost lines’. Highways England have recognised the current challenge on the strategic network, and are seeking ways to improve white line management to future against lane guidance technology requirements. The line recognition software demands clarity and ghost lines are one of the biggest challenges it faces. 


  1. Motorists Have Difficulty Seeing The Lines – In bright sunlight or heavy rain line markings become more difficult to determine for motorists.
  2. Not Compatible With Technology – Line recognition software finds it challenging to see the lines and could endanger road users.
  3. Expensive – Temporary line installations can triple the project cost, due to increased preparation, removal and reinstatement costs.
  4. Increases Accident Likelihood – More chance of accidents on areas with ghost markings.
  5. Riskier For Motorcyclists – Deep grinding can leave dips in the road that can cause issues for motorcyclists.

We know ‘ghost’ markings on any roads, not just ours, can be confusing for drivers and autonomous vehicles so we set out to find a solution which makes a real difference not just for road users on our network but across the globe.
Martin Bolt – Highways England

Highways England set out to solve the issues surrounding Ghost Markings by creating an international competition looking at alternative solutions and products. Meon are finalists in the competition in multiple categories and are distributors of 3M™ Stamark™, another competition finalist. 

Innovative Solutions To Temporary Road Paint

Line paints can be an expensive way to create temporary line markings, especially when short-term projects are returning the layout to it’s original configuration. Below we consider some alternatives to products that cause ghost markings when they are removed.

Black version for temporary line covering

3M™ Stamark™ – Black Out Tapes

  • When changing a road on a temporary basis and you want to black out a line. 
  • Great adhesion and slip resistance
  • Applied using a roll out applicator

3M™ Stamark™ – Temporary Line Tapes

  • For use in quick application of lines, i.e. when changing road layouts on a temporary basis
  • Excellent reflectivity for night
  • Great slip resistance (SRV) and adhesion
  • Simple removal without grinding, milling etc. 
Available in white or yellow


Stud body high-visibility yellow is and there are different reflection colour options.

Temporary stick-on road studs

  • When changing a road on a temporary basis you may need to apply some temporary road studs
  • With a self adhesive backing these can be applied easily for temporary use, to extend the life some contractors use ‘hot melt‘, or K2 stud adhesive to improve adhesion, K2 stud adhesive watch the K2 application video.
Find out more

Fed up with temporary line markings lasting to long?

Tempo TP – Short-term inverted aerosol markers

  • Temporary spray marks that wear out naturally through exposure to sunlight and will naturally fade.
  • Available in wide variety of colours.
  • No specialist equipment required.

Available in wide range of colours.

Call Meon today: 02392 200 606