The UK division of the Austrian traffic technology giant Swarco Traffic has launched Profectus, a new system that allows local authorities to monitor and control the performance of school signs, and improve road safety.
Specific to the unique environment of roads around schools, and the particular warning signs used to warn drivers of their presence, the Profectus central processing unit allows users to ‘see’ when a sign is operating, check faults, and change configuration for the master and slave signs, all from a simple web browser interface. Fault notifications, including failed LED displays, can be sent via SMS message (text) or email, to reduce the possibility of a failed sign going unnoticed and potentially putting children at risk. The SMS message system provides control and monitoring facilities accessible from the local school to override normal operation.
With increased remote monitoring, SMS and email fault log reporting, and the ability to pre-set timetables at a low operational energy consumption, the need for site visits and scheduled maintenance is greatly reduced. Already successfully trialled at a primary school in Northern Ireland, a particular advantage is Profectus’s ability to create bespoke timetables for when and how the signs are used, and the messages displayed. Users can therefore accommodate ‘special days’, sending different messages or alerts during holidays, at weekends and other off-peak times. Profectus has an in-built 984ft (300m) radio range that can connect up to eight signs with single sim, and a 3.7-mile (6km) external radio can be used to provide extended range data connections for larger networks. ‘Dummy’ signs can also be used to target longer distances.
“Considerable research and development investment has gone into making Profectus a success,” said Andrew Walker, Swarco’s business development manager. “One Profectus sign is also able to create a network of eight signs, meaning a single sign has up to seven ‘slaves’, which report everything back into Profectus. This gives customers complete control of the area in and around their school, while helping to keep the traffic flowing as smoothly and safely as possible.”
The main developer of Profectus and Swarco’s head of engineering, David Cousins, said, “Profectus gives users a level of control and reliability not previously possible. Without Profectus, users might not be aware of an issue until a routine maintenance check is carried out. Now they have total control, and visibility of data to further inform their traffic management decisions and further improve safety.”