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.
Static MUTCD traffic signs are often used to warn drivers of specific conditions or potential danger on the roadway, and in many applications are equipped with flashing beacons to provide alert capability for passing motorists. However, many of these signs do not efficiently convey information necessary for drivers to fully understand the circumstances and actions to take to avoid danger.
Here below is a series of examples with comments related to the efficiency of the message:
When designing ITS systems intended to convey critical messaging to drivers, transportation agencies must consider the requirements for each deployment, and make choices regarding more versatile, full matrix dynamic message signs versus more affordable blank out signs with limited messaging. Often blank out signs can provide all the messaging functionality needed at a fraction of the cost of full size DMS, and do not require advanced communication networks or other infrastructure required by signs with full messaging capability.