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Discrete Dynamics in Nature and Society
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 206805, 9 pages
Research Article

Effectiveness of Variable Message Signs on Driving Behavior Based on a Driving Simulation Experiment

MOE Key Laboratory for Urban Transportation Complex Systems Theory and Technology, Beijing Jiaotong University, Beijing 100044, China

Received 14 November 2013; Accepted 24 January 2014; Published 13 March 2014

Academic Editor: Wuhong Wang

Copyright © 2014 Xuedong Yan and Jiawei Wu. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Variable message signs (VMSs), as one of the important ITS devices, provide real-time traffic information of road network to drivers in order to improve route choice and relieve the traffic congestion. In this study, the effectiveness of VMS on driving behavior was tested based on a driving simulation experiment. A road network with three levels of VMS location to route-diverging intersection and three types of VMS information format was designed in a high fidelity driving simulator platform. Fifty-two subjects who were classified by driver age, gender, and vocation successfully completed this experiment. The experimental results showed that driver characteristics, VMS location, and information format profoundly influence driving behaviors. Based on the research findings, it is suggested that VMS would be positioned between 150 m and 200 m upstream of the diverging point to balance the VMS effects on traffic safety and operation and the graphic information VMS format is better than the format with text massage only.