Swarco launches new Zephyr cloud-based central sign control platform

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Swarco Traffic, the UK division of the Austrian traffic technology company, has launched a new cloud-based management software platform that is designed to provide local authorities with total control over their traffic sign assets and strategy.

Urban centers can be complex environments comprising multiple signage technologies, including full-color Matrix signs, variable message signs (VMS), car parking, vehicle activated and school warning signs, as just some of the ‘assets’ adopted by local authorities to protect their highways and enable vehicles to move freely. Using Swarco’s new Zephyr platform, these ‘assets’ can now be managed and controlled from a single location, anywhere in the world. The software allows the messages displayed to be edited or changed at the touch of a button, and automatically checked to ensure they comply with the relevant regulations. Mass messages can also be programmed to display across an entire region, alerting the public to upcoming events or diversions.

Zephyr’s web-based interface enables users to quickly and easily edit message and pictogram displays at the touch of a button, as well as being able upload new text and graphics as required. The interface also comes with a TSRGD (UK Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2016) rule checker, to ensure that any free-hand messages comply with the appropriate regulations.

Designed with the user in mind, the new technology features easy drag and drop windows, and the ability to ‘dock’ certain assets, so that they remain in view if required. Key features of the interface include pan/zoom maps, enabling each of the assets to be easily located and their status monitored. This includes the current messages displayed, schedules for any changes that are due, and red flags for any faults or errors that could impact the signs’ operation. The software also enables the segmentation of data to include traffic count or car park occupancy that can be detailed in a separate report.

Zephyr allows users to program and monitor their signs to ensure traffic is being managed in the most effective way possible, including taking into account ‘special days’ and exempting certain days or times to manage traffic flow.

Individual password-protected accounts can be created so that each user can set their own preferences, meaning security cannot be compromised by allocating the same details to a group of users. Signs can be connected to Zephyr using a variety of communications, such as GPRS, 3G, 4G and other wireless networks.

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International magazine and the Traffic Technology Today website since he joined the company in May 2014. Prior to this he worked on some of the UK's leading consumer magazine titles including Men's Health and Glamour, beginning his career in journalism in 1997 after graduating with a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).

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