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.
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
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
Variable Message Signs like most ITS equipment needs to be maintained to guarantee reliable operation. There are two types of maintenance visits:
- Preventative maintenance
- Corrective maintenance
Defining the right type of sign for a specific project can be challenging. There are many different reasons and criteria that effect the choice of one product versus another. Designing a Variable Message Sign to solve a road safety challenge requires a thorough process and defined methodology - it is important to ask the right questions.
On one side, choosing the most advanced sign that can display anything, in any color, at any time is the easiest and most unlimited option. However, this often creates other challenges like power issues, monitoring complexity, and exorbitant costs for simple applications.
On the other side, very simple and cheap solutions exists, such as static signs with flashing beacons. Although, this can also have many disadvantages and does not solve most of the problems discussed in one of our previous blogs.
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.
We recently published a blog about the 5 Display Properties Defined by NEMA TS4 and are continuing with our series referencing these specifications for Dynamic Message Signs (DMS). This installment will examine the Environmental Requirements described in Section 2 of NEMA TS4 that establishes the limits of operational conditions in which the DMS must perform. They are also intended to make sure the DMS is delivered in good condition.
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
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