Fibre optic systems have provided innovative visual display solutions for the last 20 years and look set to continue. Therefore, they could help meet the increasing demands on variable message signs (VMS) arising from the development of Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) on highways. In a fibre optic display system, one halogen lamp illuminates up to 350 high-quality glass fibre arms, coming together into a matrix on which a full range of symbols can be shown; the system is reliable enough to operate at a mean time between maintenance of 24,000h. Factors affecting the quality of a VMS include light intensity, angular characteristics, contrast, colour, and uniformity. Fibre optic traffic signs can be identified quickly and clearly due to their impressive white displays. With fibre optic VMS, white, red, yellow, green and blue can easily be produced, using filters, to give drivers very readable optimal information in all situations. The fibres retain their exact locations, resist ageing and extreme temperatures, and are easy to replace. For VMS applications, they have many advantages over light-emitting diodes (LEDs). It will be possible to implement other applications with a new generation of long glass fibre light guides; for example, they will be easier and safer to maintain.

  • Availability:
  • Corporate Authors:

    Cap Gemini


    PB Farradyne

    444 South Flower Street, Suite 3700
    Los Angeles, CA  United States  90071

    iMPath Networks


    Georgia Department of Transportation

    One Georgia Center
    600 West Peachtree Street, NW
    Atlanta, GA  United States  30308



    System Innovations, Incorporated

    1551 Forbes Street
    Fredericksburg, VA  United States  22405
  • Authors:
    • GAYDOUL, E
  • Publication Date: 1999


  • English

Media Info

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00767175
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport Research Laboratory
  • Created Date: Aug 6 1999 12:00AM