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Advanced CMS

Project #: 4W1215
Start Date: 07/27/2006
End Date: 12/31/2009

Changeable message signs are used to inform travelers of incidents, safety hazards, weather conditions, AMBER alerts and other critical information. Foreseeing statewide usage of the technology, Caltrans adopted a Model 500 CMS standard many years ago. Since then, there has been considerable evolution in CMS design and engineering, providing CMS with greater functionality, improved communications capabilities, more efficient power usage, and other improvements that were not conceivable at that time. The need for signs to interface with traffic management center software, along with posting coordinated statewide traveler information, has resulted in a greater need for communication and integration. However, none of the Caltrans’ current CMS are NTCIP-compliant, which hinders integration with existing software platforms.


To develop a new standard and specification for Caltrans Changeable Message Signs (CMS), incorporating the advances in technology and communications over the last twenty years, while trying to ensure that the benefits of standardization, such as spare parts, training and volume purchase discounts, are achieved.


  • Chris Strong
    Chris Strong


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