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Adaptive Display's Digital Signage Blog

LED Signage for the Transportation Industry

Posted by Chad Bogan on Tue, Apr 07, 2015

In today's road environment and traffic situations, static roadside signs are not enough. Motorists need information about current travel conditions in a timely and relevant manner. 

This is the reason why highway traffic managers prefer LED electronic signage in order to aid in traffic flow and alert drivers about current travel conditions. Many state-wide Departments


of Transportation (DOTs) have also upgraded their highway traffic management systems to

 electronic sign systems. 

The use of LED electronic signage has also evolved.  Some of these roadside signs include:Types of Highway Sign Systems 

1. Overhead electronic sign cabinets

Also known as walk-in sign cabinets. These types of sign is placed on a suspended scaffold across major highway routes. It allows on-site maintenance without the need to shut down highway lanes.

2. Electronic signage for arterial (secondary) roads

It is usually installed on single post stanchions with the same  These type of signage feed traffic to and from the major highway routes. It has the same message capabilities as overhead highway signs.

3. Towed, mobile trailers with electronic LED sign systems

These signs are used for temporary road incident situations, such as road constructions.

4. Toll booth signage

These signs are used to provide information about collection fees and lane direction. It helps manage traffic funnel points near bridge and tunnel toll collection points.

5. Vehicle activated speed signs

These type of signs help deliver your road safety targets. It alert drivers about their true speed and can optionally display feedback messages, such as "Slow down" to those exceeding the limit.

6. Mobile variable message signs

These types of signs provide a flexible way to communicate messages, alerts and warnings by the roadside.

7. Portable message road signs

These types of signs are changeable and are perfect to give advance notice of delays and help keep motorists on the move.

8. Vehicle activated signs

These are custom traffic signs that can feature symbols or text that illuminate when a vehicle approaches. Use it to alert motorists, such as - Fork lift trucks operating, Stop at barrier, Tunnel ahead, etc.


Benefits of Roadside Signage 

Road  LED signage communicate ongoing traffic conditions to drive. Real-time updates are provided as much as possible such as slow downs, accidents, construction, lane closures, weather concerns, amber alerts and travel time alerts. 

LED sign network makes motorists aware of these situations to ensure safe traffic conditions. Any deviation from "safe conditions" can alert motorists via updated status alert, like an alternate route to by-pass the incident. 

Messages on road sign signage can be global messages that cover the entire network or a single message for a road incident along a specific highway route. 

  • Real-time traffic management, safety messages and warnings
  • Effective traffic management based on current traffic conditions
  • Smooth and safe traffic flow  especially during peak hours
  • Ability to monitor and react to roadway incidents
  • Stress-free motorists
  • Displays road condition information effectively

Understanding DOT Command Centers 

Integrating LED message centers into highway traffic management is part of an information gathering network know as the Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) program. This is part of the United States DOT initiative to make information technology as a component of traffic management. 

This is made in order to achieve the goals of improving safety and reducing vehicle wear, negative transportation times and fuel costs. The use of LED message centers is known as Dynamic Message Signs (DMS) or Variable or Changeable Message Signs (VMS or CMS). 

In a DMS highway network, different sign manufacturers should be able to communicate with the DOTs command center's sign network software program properly. This aids in establishing traffic control standards that allow DOTs to operate in a common sign network. 

To better understand the importance of VMS for traffic management, Georgia and Washington state DOT command centers provided an overview of several LED sign manufacturers who supply VMS signage to the state-wide DOTs. 

Georgia DOT 

According to public relations spokesperson, Monica Luck, "Georgia has one of the most comprehensive ITS installations in the United States." 

To manage their expanding traffic flows, they have developed an ITS with a complete electronic traffic management operation. It includes a television monitoring of highway traffic, on-site observers who deal with incident management and motorist assistance, ramp meters, weather monitoring and Navigator, and a web site with real-time local and regional 24/7 traffic information.

Adaptive Displays LED Message Signs 

DOT recognizes the potential of VMS and its effectiveness for both traffic managers and drivers. Electronic signage operation will continue to develop. Aside from visuals and colors, WiFi will be the new standard of connectivity between LED signs and various DOTs traffic command centers. 

For more than a decade, Adaptive has provided the transportation industry with its state-of-the-art LED based Dynamic Message Signs (DMS).  Since transportation is going places, Adaptive takes the lead with its state-of-the-art software and LED display connectivity solutions for roadside, ITS and transportation industry LED display solutions. 

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