Starting today, Mumbai cops will give live traffic maps on key roads
Traffic department introduces new digital signboards today to give motorists instant information on traffic movement or roadblocks
The VMS signboards are portable and run on solar energy
The worst thing about traffic jams is the lack of information for motorists, who often end up stuck for hours instead of hopping on to alternative route or use a diversion set up by the authorities. But thanks to the traffic department's new emphasis on keeping up with the instant age, officials have now come up an instant solution to this problem.
Starting today, the department will introduce the Variable Messaging Sign (VMS) system — portable, digital signboards that can be remotely updated with the latest traffic information and directions for motorists. This comes a year after the department launched the MTP Call app to deliver live messages to motorists' phones about traffic movement, accidents and violations.
Three today, more later
To begin with, three of the VMS devices will be introduced today at BKC, Kalanagar and Vakola. Eventually, officials intend to procure 100 such devices and set them up across the city. The system will attempt to prevent traffic jams by providing motorists real-time information on road repairs, processions, breakdown vehicles or anything else that might hold up vehicular movement. The boards will also include information on the expected drive time between junctions.
"Portable VMS can be very useful in a city like Mumbai, where one has to continuously keep an eye on traffic jams and try to clear them as soon as possible," said one traffic officer. "The city roads are already carrying more vehicles than their capacity. Roadblocks can be a major hurdle in traffic depending on the situation of roads ahead; many a time, vehicles break down or processions slow down traffic movement. Movement of heavy vehicles also reduces the pace. VMS will help us pass on all this information to drivers," he added.
Various means to connect
Apal Jain, business head of the Traffic and Commercial of Ador group, which developed the system, said, "The VMS will be controlled from the traffic headquarters at Worli, which can send messages directly to give location-specific information." Information can also be updated at the spot through a connected laptop.
Rs 7 lakh
Cost of each VMS device
Number of devices expected to be introduced over time
> Information on traffic movement, roadblocks, diversions
> Display of expected drive time between junctions
> System can display up to three lines of text
> Runs on batteries charged by solar panels
> Can be tracked through GPS
> Messages can be customised and displayed in red, blue and green
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