Here’s a very nice, very different take on using LED boards along highways.
Instead of endless ads for lawyers and auto dealers and casinos, this vertical LED totem that just lit up in Almaty, Kazakhstan runs traffic information.
The 10 mm pixel pitch unit, installed by Billboard Video LED Engineering, is 7 meters high by two meters wide. The company went vertical to make it easier for drivers to take in information, and mentally separate it from the billboards out there.
The aim of the project is to instantly inform drivers about the traffic situation in the surrounding streets. Data is being provided through cameras and sensors installed in the direction of traffic. Information is shown in three languages: Kazakh, Russian and English.
The project, says the company, is unique in its fully-automatic operation of the system. Information from cameras is being processed through analytic system of developed by the integrator. Data is received at the SpinetiX media player, which provides image formation on a LED screen. Depending on received data, the image is being updated in real-time.
The board shows:
1. Information about traffic situation when driving in these areas. Depending on flow rate, occupancy grades are being given. Due to the given grade, the information block turns the corresponding color (green, yellow or red). It is informative and visible from a fair distance. Thus, drivers are able to take a decision about bypassing, lane changing and turning in time. The information block shows current flow rate and traffic jam category due to the grade given.
2. A live video from cameras installed in the direction of traffic. Depending on flow rate, the system selects a camera located at different distances from the screen. The higher the speed, the further the camera. One can visually estimate how occupied the road ahead is.
3. Warning about pedestrians crossing the road. The warning sign is animated and draws attention immediately.
4. Weather information. Knowing the weather, one can choose the style of driving correctly, especially in the off-season.
5. Road signs. The light emitting diode screen displays road signs with the direction of nearby streets.
6. Animated schemes of complex interchange and temporary loops. Information about the nearby parkings, road narrowings, etc. The driver has time to change lanes beforehand without interfering with other traffic participants. Guests of the city will easily be able to look about in an unfamiliar setting.
7. Information about video recording cameras in the direction of traffic.
8. Road signs of critical importance on this route. It is forbidden to stop along the whole length of the street where the first screen is installed.
9. Tourist information, social and commercial advertisements, alerts on emergencies.
The project is a pilot, and will be used to assess whether this sort of thing gets used across the country.
My take: I like the idea of this, and the clever integration and use of real-time data. I do think there’s probably too much going on at once for motorists to take in as they whiz through here, but when traffic is jammed there would be much more time. Maybe if you are through the area everyday you have the one zone on this screen you routinely look to?