Swarco launches new range of mobile variable message signs


One of Europe’s largest suppliers of traffic management equipment and systems has unveiled a new generation of transportable variable message sign (VMS) for use wherever road agencies need to inform drivers about changing conditions.

Swarco Traffic has launched the new Smart City Messenger range of mobile VMS with built-in urban traffic management control (UTMC) connectivity to afford local authorities the same level of management and control of their temporary signage as their fixed installations, via GPRS and 3G. The signs can also be controlled from a Swarco back office system.

Designed for use in any temporary traffic management application, such as to signpost roadworks or events, the new Smart City Messenger signs incorporate Swarco’s proven, state-of-the art LED technology, with a high contrast ratio, wide viewing angle and excellent character uniformity. Operating from a very low current, the LEDs, which also feature Swarco’s patented color-mixing lens, have higher levels of reliability and performance, while consuming less power. The full color capability enables the complete range of graphical traffic signs to be displayed.

Smart City Messenger is available in a range of three different sizes to suit different applications and is capable of displaying four rows of text, each 15 characters long, of UK traffic signs regulations and general directions (TSRGD) that are TR2516B-compliant. The mobile signs are Highways England-type approved and on a trailer that is similarly built to UK standards and which has been DVLA tested and certified. The signs allow the display of free text in four rows of 15 characters, in white, yellow, red, green or blue. They can also display full color pictograms or a combination of pictures and text, providing a sign capable of displaying messages for any traffic application or advertising.

There are various sign/trailer options available, including 75mm, 100mm and 160mm (2.9in, 3.9in, 6.2in) character height displays, with message board sizes from 57 x 31in (145 x 78cm) to 90in x 45in (229 x 115cm). There is vertical and 360-degree rotational movement of the sign display, a hydraulic mast, and four telescopic jacks to level the display for optimum viewing. The VMS units feature GPRS/3G communications, automatic failure reporting of all the main functions and several power options.

“A particular innovation of Smart City Messenger is the use of a new fuel cell power backup,” noted Carl Dyer, technical and sales director at Swarco. “The mobile signs have three power options: battery only, lasting seven days before requiring a recharge; solar powered, to allow for self-charging; and solar powered with a fuel cell, which delivers 100% autonomy and 365 days of operation. This takes the flexibility and reliability of mobile signs to a new level, and overcomes one of the biggest headaches in deploying any mobile technology – the reliability of power supply.”

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About Author


Tom has edited Traffic Technology International (TTi) magazine and its Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title, he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs at public agencies around the world as well as CEOs of leading multinationals and ground-breaking start-ups. Tom's earlier career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).