In Japan, real-time alternative-route travel time information posted on dynamic message signs contributed to a 3.7 percent divergence rate during periods of congestion, saving detoured motorists an average of 9.8 minutes per vehicle.

12-16 October 1998
Kobe,Japan; Osaka,Japan

Summary Information

This study examined a traffic control system equipped with dynamic message signs (DMS) designed to provide real-time alternative-route travel time information to freeway travelers in the Osaka-Kobe area of Japan. This advanced traveler information system (ATIS) was designed to optimize traveler timesavings during periods of congestion on the Hanshin Expressway.

The DMS system was installed in November 1997. Each DMS unit provided travel time information for two or more competitive routes. Travel time was determined based on current vehicle speed measured by roadside vehicle detectors installed every 500 meters, and Automatic Vehicle Identification (AVI) units capable of matching corresponding license plate numbers at different points in the network.

Initially, the impact of the DMS signs on freeway traffic was measured by observing changes in traffic volume at two key alternative route divergence points before and after system deployment. The Hanshin Expressway Public Corporation (HEPC) conducted an investigation and found that divergence rates increased after DMS deployment.

  • After introduction of DMS alternative route information at Maya/Route-3, the average divergence rate increased 3.7 percent during periods of congestion.
  • Based on DMS data displayed at Maya/Route-3, detoured traffic saved an average of 9.8 minutes per vehicle during periods of congestion.
  • Based on DMS data displayed at Ohmaha/Route-4, detoured traffic saved up to 38 minutes per vehicle during incident congestion.


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Evaluation of Route Comparison Information Boards on Hanshin Expressway

Author: Atsush, Abe, et al.

Published By: Paper presented at the 5th World Congress Conference on ITS. Seoul, Korea

Source Date: 12-16 October 1998


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Goal Areas


Related Metropolitan Integration Links

Link 10: Freeway Management to Traveler Information

Typical Deployment Locations

Metropolitan Areas


DMS, CMS, VMS, Changeable Message Signs, Variable Message Signs, license plate recognition, license plate reader

Benefit ID: 2002-00228