Blank Out Signs (BOS), due to their cost efficiency, design, and speed to market have long been employed, mostly in a MUTCD regulatory or warning sign capacity. Nationwide, there is increased attention to more situational traffic issues such as wrong way driving. Customizing designs whether in the message or actionable symbols, specialized Blank Out Sign applications are more rapidly moving up the ladder in importance with several manufacturing companies focused on furthering product development to fit industry trend for safer and simpler roadway information
On a recent trip to China related to my wife’s business, I was able to do a quick tour of ITS like Traffic signage in and surrounding the City of Shanghai, now the largest metropolitan city in the world at 24 million people.
The evolution of intelligent transportation systems has experienced in a very small window of time, the interactive communication of smartphones, more efficient data collection and tolling technologies, the better use of detection devices for warning systems as well as for transportation planning, and the early onset of market implementation of autonomous vehicles. Going back to core visceral beliefs, it is still the driver and the resulting decisions to the current transportation experience over the road that impact all of our safety. Trucking transportation best illustrates this experience.
With the continued burden of finding funding sources for US urban roadways construction and maintenance, state agencies and regional transportation commissions are employing segmented toll opportunities which often require little infrastructure adjustment- converting urban freeway High Occupancy Lanes to income producing toll lanes, commonly known as managed lanes. The challenge faced by DOT is to inform drivers of the rules applicable to the managed lanes. Are the lanes open? What is the toll rate? The only way to inform all drivers is to use Dynamic Message Signs,
Energy, in whatever form, is a key element all civilizations require in order for its citizens to not only grow, but thrive. Since the 1850's, the world (especially North America) has developed and capitalized on the opportunity of nature’s abundant resources. Over time, new tools for the extraction of assorted resources have been created and the ensuing applications have revolutionized the world’s overall quality of life, emphatically typified in the United States of America.
Over the last forty years Dynamic Message Sign (DMS) or Variable Message Sign (VMS) technology for U.S. highways has evolved from mechanically operated florescent dots forming letters to present day color (Light Emitting Diodes) capable of bold, high definition images and text set on static green backgrounds and much more. In the evolution, ITS engineers have meritoriously continued the selection process of size of the sign while abetting MUTCD mandates.
Topics: Dynamic Message Sign design
In the last 40 years, since dynamic messaging signs became an integral part of the U.S. highway’s persona, the industry has gone from flipping mechanically iridescent orange dots to advancing fiber optic designs, and now, LED lighting. With continued advancements in solar due to greater energy efficient design and product with ventilation or cooling systems are no longer necessary. Trending along with LED advancements is the critical need for agencies to maximize their purchasing power while still acquiring ITS devices that truly match their most recent concerns in the field and on paper. As a result agencies are looking towards value versus finding the lowest VMS pricing in contract assessments.
Topics: Grid-Powered DMS
Over Memorial Day Weekend, several states made headlines when mobile DMS were hacked. These temporary construction warning signs on the highway displayed hacked messages ranging from political statements, to “Party Hardy Yall!”. A week later, another sign was hacked that displayed a comment referencing the recent Cincinnati Zoo gorilla incident. While these altered messages may serve as harmless entertainment for daily commuters, tampering with these signs are problematic and a dangerous display of recklessness. With regards to the later, traffic operations professionals are challenged with life or death consequences - funny it is not.