New mobile VMS unit is the future says UK tester

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An experienced traffic safety engineer, whose local authority has become the first to deploy an innovative new mobile roadside signage system, says the technology has the potential to become a regular feature on the UK’s roads. Although color pictograms have proved highly effective in alleviating traffic problems and improving safety on the country’s road network for several years, the new Advantage HDC Tri-color mobile Variable Message Sign (mVMS), which is being used for the first time in Berkshire, is capable of displaying roadside icons with much improved quality and detail. The unit, developed and supplied by Rennicks UK, uses the latest high resolution screens to display pictograms and messages, with the Advantage HDC’s 1920 pixel range producing 40% more pixels than other VMS products currently available. It can present accurate representations of instantly recognizable red and white Highway Code signs that can be changed at will, while the ability to create amber messages means the same unit can be used for effective traffic management, campaign support or guidance at special events. Each of the bespoke units can be remotely operated to provide real-time traffic information and alerts, and the IVA-approved sign also meets all requirements set out in the UK Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions (TSRGD).

Ian Gill, traffic and road safety systems engineer for the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, “This new sign has the potential to make a massive difference to motorists in our area. It will help to alleviate congestion and improve traffic flow in certain situations, but the fact it delivers three colors in superb quality, means we’ll use it for several other things too. We looked at a number of options, but the quality of this unit combined with its versatile and flexible nature made it stand out from the crowd. We have only had the sign for a few months and it has already shown its value, so I’m convinced other local authorities will soon follow our lead. The graphics on the unit are outstanding yet it uses very little power and has a very small footprint, which was important to us as a local authority. The fact it lets us display any Highway Code sign in stunning quality, together with warning messages and alerts which we can change for any given situation, is ideal. We can also use it as a giant radar unit and, because it tracks and displays vehicle speeds, it will greatly improve safety.” The unit has so far been used to provide warnings of resurfacing work on roads in Windsor and Maidenhead, but Gill said it will be used for many other applications. “Traffic management is a key issue for local authorities and we’re no different. I’m confident the fact we can create eye-catching color signs, messages, alerts and guidance at the push of a button, will make a big difference.”

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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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