What is a variable message sign and on what principle does it function?
A variable message sign also known as vms display is a normal electronically operated message board on the road with a slight twist- it offers a plethora of information to commuters about special events or announcements. It is the full form of acronyms like VMS, CMS or even DMS. In some parts of the world like the United Kingdom, it has also been called the matrix sign.
The purpose of these signs is to inform commuters about possible blockades or traffic snarls on the route up ahead or for that matter, any part of town, possible work or construction activity, air pollution levels, warning signs of accidents and health hazards. They are also used to specify speed limits in several sensitive urban areas. They inform local drivers about alternative routes in case of emergencies, rallies and events that might cause unnecessary delays in traffic.
In several parking areas around some major urban centres around the world like London or New York City, they are used to guide commuters to the few available parking spots for safekeeping of their vehicles. Thus, they also form a part of the parking guidance systems.
What is the technology in use and what are the types of VMS that are currently in operation?
They can be placed at almost any junction, highway entrance or exit or on the side of city streets. They are incredibly easy to install and use on a regular basis. They require low maintenance and thus are reliable and accurate. They use different types of colours - monochrome, tricolour, LED and NEON etc. The most common technology that is in use right now is the long life LED technology that can be easily noticed by all drivers in almost all types of weather conditions and visibility. The brightness and contrast can be easily changed as per convenience of the authorities so that it is useful during the day, early morning foggy conditions, and at night when long distance visibility is predominantly very poor.
This system can be used on its own or can be used in tandem with several traffic control systems, monitoring systems and data collection and monitoring systems by local authorities.
Traffic detection system:
The traffic detection system consists of a complete array of devices and microcontrollers equipped with compatible software which collects traffic data and indulges in complete analyses in such data. This particular system relays real time information about the collection data to authorities and thus helps in collating and analysing data regarding road and traffic conditions, effective ways of solving traffic issues etc.
Thus, it provides a way for the authorities to monitor traffic conditions 24 hours a day. Thus, it helps the authorities get a clearer picture of traffic conditions in play and how to solve nagging traffic issues.
Traffic Monitoring System: How it is useful:
This system helps in real time surveillance of specific areas that are creating traffic issues in some part of the city. For example, it can lead to a collection of data about toll booths, highways that are particularly prone to accidents etc. This eliminates the need for dedicated CCTV camera monitoring and thus provides more efficient control systems and solutions.
Road an pedestrian mobility is also easily monitored suing variable message boards and thus can be easily dealt with in case of emergencies.
Another addition to this system is the video surveillance system which collects and collates video graphic evidence and footage and relays them to the authorities thus helping them to keep an eye on major junctions, events and road shows.