We have created this additional reference to follow our last blog, defining the right size of dynamic message signs In most cases, DMS users already know what they want to display and what messages or graphics will be needed in order to do so. Today, most DMS are full matrix, making it very difficult to determine how many lines and characters a DMS is capable of displaying. This blog helps answer these questions and provides a 4 step procedure to help choose the right dimension of the display area, in addition to some tips like what fonts to use.
In the past, we’ve blogged the proper use and application of Variable Speed Limit Signs on U.S. highways as it pertains to use relative to either traffic or weather conditions. Highlighted were typical designs and regulations with options regulatory agencies employ in color and size of the overall sign, both for the static and the LED aspect of the sign. In the majority of applications however, typical 12 or 18” characters employed fall short of MUTCD full compliance.
State DOT highway Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) are progressively capitalizing on comprehensive Variable Speed Limit (VSL) designs. As a more advanced and timely safety warning system, changing the speed limit based on weather or traffic conditions in focused locations offers more precise warning to stretches of especially vulnerable roadways. In often non-negotiable winter road conditions, unreliably slippery roadways require more precise, distinctly locational, lower speed limit advisories. Ideal weather conditions of summer, not so much. Variable speed limit systems are continually proven ITS safety devices in such states as New Hampshire, Wyoming, Minnesota, and Utah. The VSL Subscribers list continues to climb as a cost effective, dynamic messaging system, in particular with rural locations.
VSLs foster opportunity for DOT’s to utilize accurate placement for both regulatory and warning applications. Serving as warning signs with amber colored characters in particularly hazardous locations, the dynamic aspect of posting variable speed limits or for that matter, blanked out signs, creates a positive and engaging interface with the driving public. Applied as a regulatory sign, VSL’s with white characters bring into play stricter standards with law enforcement options. Excising proper design criteria, these signs can meet MUTCD standards for lettering in sizes 12 to 18 inches.
Many portable DMS (Dynamic Message Signs) are already powered by Solar on our roads but very few permanent DMS. Numerous misunderstanding still exists especially regarding the size of DMS that can be powered by solar, the maintenance of the system, the battery life, and the longevity of the solution.
Topics: Solar Signs
Throughout several blogs, we discussed the benefits of Blank Out Signs (BOS) and Lane Control Signs, and compared their technology against Dynamic Message Signs (DMS) and other types of signs. In this blog, we want to discuss the cost benefits of using Blank Out Signs and Lane Control Signs.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that over 32,000 people are killed and more than 2 million are injured every year from motor vehicle crashes. That works out to roughly 90 deaths each day across the United States - with one third involving drunk driving and almost another third involving speeding. In order to combat such a staggering number of transportation-related casualties, federal and state “Vision Zero” (known in the U.S. as 'Towards Zero Deaths') initiatives are being rolled out to achieve a future where there are no fatalities or serious injuries in road traffic.
Since the late 1920’s, engineers and planners have conducted travel time and delay studies to unravel the intricacies of transportation. With the instatement of the revolutionary Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA), flexible state and local programs were developed to address urban, suburban, and rural congestion. Travel time, a key performance measure in congestion management systems, is one of the few ITS concepts readily understood and communicated by everyone from your local news reporter to the daily commuters in the trenches.
Topics: DMS Connect
When considering a DMS Manufacturer, there are a variety of factors to take into account. You might be inclined to choose a manufacturer strictly based on cost, but have you truly done your due-diligence? Entering into or accepting a bid with an under performing DMS manufacturer can have serious consequences - consequences that outweigh upfront savings.
Take a look below for the eight criteria we believe defines an outstanding DMS manufacturer:
Everyone in the ITS world hears something about autonomous vehicles almost every day. Most of the time, it is about autonomous vehicles developed by Google or another one of the major automobile manufacturers. There are many other experiences and tests especially for mass transit like buses or shuttles.
Topics: In the News
If you look at the newest ultra-thin laptops on the market today, you will probably notice how much thinner and lighter they are compared to the laptops of even 5 to 10 years ago. Gone are the ventilation channels, filters and fans and their associated bulk, weight and cost. Yet Moore’s law implies that the number of transistors is doubling every two years. You would think that the heat management problem would be getting worse. What gives?
Fortunately, the semiconductor industry has managed to reduce the power dissipation faster than the growth of the device complexity. This has allowed equipment designers to eliminate much of the ventilation components of years past resulting in products that are thinner, lighter and more reliable.
Just as the computer designers have reduced the heat created in modern laptops, SESA has been pioneering the increased efficiency in display technologies which allows for the elimination of sign ventilation provisions.
However, in our Dynamic Message Signs (DMS) world, it seems that this technological evolution is not yet taken into consideration. Numerous specifications throughout the country still call for DMS ventilation, temperature monitoring, intake filters, etc. Many useless devices that add costs, use energy and increase the maintenance of our DMS.