In the early 80's, the first versions of Dynamic Message Signs (DMS) used fiber optic technology which has since been improved and upgraded to incorporate LED technology. Today, the technological improvements have resulted in significant differences in the DMS market, some affecting the actual display of the message, the frequency of the message, and the quantity and placement of DMS units on a particular roadway or throughout a specific region. Some congested areas may have DMS installed in closer proximity to each other, displaying various messages, whereas more open and desolate areas may have a single DMS displaying a single, more general message.
As I travel the US attending ITS conferences and other industry events, I am often asked a familiar series of questions: What is the future of the DMS industry? Do you think DMS will become obsolete very soon ? The answers to these very good questions are not that obvious. Most people argue that newer technology will eliminate the need for DMS but reality shows a different perspective......
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.