Expressway VMS Go Live

Contracted by the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI), BRAUMS began the year installing 14 brand new BRAUMS/Swarco Variable Message Signs (VMS) across the new 15 kilometre Northern Connector expressway in Adelaide, South Australia.

Officially launching on the first weekend in April 2020, the massive project went off without a hitch. Operation testing of the entire roadway was completed over the weekend, and immediate impressions from both the DPTI and the public have been glowing. Brendan McIntosh, BRAUMS and ATC state manager in South Australia, shared with us the successes of the project for both DPTI and BRAUMS.

VMS Test Sign

See our previous update about the technologies used in this project here.

Seamless Installation and Testing

BRAUMS role in the installation ran over the past four weeks, making sure that the signs worked and responded correctly to messages sent from the traffic management centre, located 20 kilometres away from the public expressway. Fault scenarios were simulated to ensure the signs could be measured and monitored.

Over the weekend, DPTI took over control, closing the road to perform system testing. Through their tests, they simulated various scenarios -- possible accidents at particular points -- ensuring that the system responded as required, automatically, so that operators would not have to think about what they're doing, they could simply react to the situation at hand.

After two nights of testing, all reports came back positive. DPTI were extremely happy with the VMS performance; there were no issues at all with the signs.

World Leading Technology

BRAUMS/Swarco VMS currently offer the highest technology signs in the world. The benefit of this on the Northern Connector could be seen immediately, both in power-saving capacities and optics.

The signs are designed to run without power, going off batteries for at least four hours. During testing, it was observed that the signs were running for over 12 hours. The benefits of this for the DPTI are extraordinary. Regardless of power outages or other power issues, the road is still controllable, and DPTI can manage that roadway successfully, never going blank on anyone.

Representing the world-leading standards in optics, the signs ensure messages are clear and road travelling members of the public are able to understand vital messages, from a distance, that are clear and concise, no matter how the sun or other light sources hit the signs.

Key BRAUMS VMS Benefits

  • Low maintenance, resulting in fewer road closures
  • Low running costs
  • Low power consumption
  • Clear problem identification for traffic management teams
  • High visibility compared to other message sign technologies


VMS Collision Sign

Upgrades of Importance

As technology develops road safety and messaging is one of the key elements that can be improved, for the benefit of authorities controlling signage, as well as the enhanced safety of road travellers.

Now being used at Sydney Airport and along the Northern Connector, the resounding benefits of BRAUMS/Swarco VMS are being seen; improved legibility for drivers, the extraordinary long term ability to run without power, faults can be found remotely in an instant, and they are virtually maintenance-free.

Unlike older technologies, BRAUMS VMS don't require dehumidifiers, active cooling, fans or air conditioner units within the cabinets themselves, bringing maintenance demands down to a simple annual wash and check-up.

Whether it's on a private roadway such as at Sydney airport, a public motorway like the Northern Connector, or a private motorway, we've got everything in the toolbox to be able to make it work. There's no challenge too hard for us with VMS.