Variable conditions

This article looks at the developments in Variable Messages Signs (VMS) or Dynamic Message Signs (DMS). Variable message signs are likely to continue to be the principal means of disseminating information to drivers and managing their behaviour. The alternative methods of getting information to drivers depend on vehicles being fitted with appropriate technology. Drivers require clear and ambiguous information immediately a change is imposed by a road operator. Traffic management systems, of which VMS is an essential part, convey messages or warn drivers of adverse conditions and are the most democratic way to disseminate these messages, visible to everybody, regardless of on-board technology. Transportation authorities continue to focus on congestion reduction, accident prevention and travel management tactics. Dynamic message signage is an integral factor in achieving these goals. Emerging applications include schemes such as those on the M25 and the M42 in the UK. In the US, the introduction of High Occupancy Vehicle and High Occupancy Toll policies will generate requirements for DMS. Sign technology varies from country to country, including variations in electronics and graphics, lettering and layout. The author addresses issues relating to standards, and looks at the development of portable solutions.


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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01146964
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport Research Laboratory
  • Files: ITRD
  • Created Date: Dec 24 2009 8:32AM