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A smart solution for smart cities

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variable messaging system

Variable Messaging Systems

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At 3M, many new ideas are starting to take shape as our products are transforming into intelligent road safety solutions for ‘Smart Cities.’ One of them is the 3M™ Smart Variable Messaging Systems (VMS) which displays customisable billboard-sized messages that inform motorists of important real-time traffic updates. It is an essential part of any next-generation traffic management system and can be easily customised to the specific needs of the region it is installed in.

They are intelligent displays, 3M Smart VMS can assist entire cities and states with their major traffic challenges such as traffic congestions and delays, rising numbers of road accidents and repair works, and difficulties in dispatching emergency services. Its capability of automatically displaying live information of congestions, optimal routes, journey times, weather, parking availability, air quality, roadworks, events, and more, can help to improve traffic flow by communicating to motorists of any necessary measures to take on their journey.

Read on to find out more about Smart VMS.

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What is Smart VMS?

Smart VMS are dynamic message signs that can provide road users with real time information on the go, among others:

  • real time traffic updates on variable message sign

    Live, automated traffic updates

    Displays can inform of alternative routes, journey times and congestion levels on the roads.

  • variable message sign displaying weather conditions

    Weather conditions & pollution levels

    Motorists can stay informed of necessary precautions to take en route to their destination.

  • emergency number display on variable messaging system

    Emergency numbers

    Emergency contact numbers to the police, fire department, ambulance services and highway patrol can be flashed.

  • emergency numbers on variable messaging system

    Safety messages

    Messages to influence the driving behaviour of motorists can be displayed. For example: “Speed thrills but kills”

  • variable message sign displaying carpark lot availability

    Parking availability

    Congestion and parking are interrelated. Smart VMS can provide live data on parking availability before bottlenecks happen.

  • road safety messages on variable message sign

    City branding & government communication

    Smart VMS can flash tourism messages, event news, and display policy updates to those without mass media access.


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Next-generation features and benefits

  • smartphone app to configure variable message sign

    Highly configurable system

    Authorised persons can use a smartphone app to display emergency information on 3M Smart VMS.

  • intelligent traffic management system

    Automated & intelligent

    The system requires no manual intervention, which saves you time, money and resources.

  • multi-colour variable message sign

    Multi-colour display

    Smart VMS supports video, graphics and images in a 16,000-colour rich display with an auto-brightness function.

  • easy monitoring of variable messaging system

    Ease of monitoring

    Monitor various operating parameters from the control room and identify individual faults quickly for repair.

  • Low power mode in variable message sign

    Low power mode

    If less power consumption is required, Smart VMS can switch to low-power displays to conserve resources.

  • highly secure variable message sign

    Highly secure system

    Utmost data security is ensured with 128-bit encryption to thwart hackers. Unauthorised persons will not gain access.


Need specifications or prices? We’re here to help.

Ask us for more information on 3M Smart Variable Messaging Systems – we are a short message away.

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Case study: Smarter Pune roads with 3M Variable Message Systems

  • road safety case study
  • Location: Pune City, India
    Year(s): 2016-2017

    Pune City was selected for a Smart City contest where plans included studding the roadways with 3M VMS that will display real time automated information to road users. Learn how the 3M India team completed in the turnkey project within three short months.

    Download the full case study:
    Pune Smart City 3M Variable Messaging System Turnkey Project (284.3 KB)

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