Networked visualization – A great start to untangling the traffic knot

23 May 2014  •  Author(s): Barco

Whatever European road you take, there’s a good chance that your journey will be monitored by a networked visualization solution from Barco. Barco’s video walls and its networked visualization platform help operators in traffic control centers around the world keep a close eye on the traffic, to ensure that it keeps moving and travelers stay safe. So if you ask Barco whether technology can help the world absorb the exponential rise in traffic, its answer will be a resounding ‘yes’.

Barco digital control room

Barco’s video walls and its networked visualization platform help operators in traffic control centers

The importance of being informed

One of the keys to smart transportation is real-time information. The more data, the better the solutions: combining different databases and sensor information will ensure a better understanding of the transport situation. An example? Just think of urban mobility. While car drivers, in the past, had to keep driving around town looking for a parking spot, they can now follow the electronic signs that direct them to the nearest empty parking space.

Smart solutions spread the traffic load more evenly, by giving personalized directions to cars based on a wide range of available information, in a two-way information stream. Besides the parking guidance described above, smart systems can also provide detailed information on real-time traffic flows, the number of cars hunting for a parking space and possible road blocks. By intelligently combining all this data, the available road network will be deployed to the max, thus avoiding congestion. In other words: data gathering, distribution and monitoring are extremely important.

Rooted in experience

For more than 20 years now, Barco has been installing video walls and displays in traffic management centers around the globe. Its experience and expertise in the transport industry inspires the company to constantly develop new solutions to improve traffic control. While its video walls become increasingly bright and maintenance free, the latest-generation of controllers and wall management software are also becoming more intuitive, collaborative and flexible. The networked visualization platform, for its part, offers a very simple and flexible way of sharing and distributing data from sensors, CCTV cameras, vehicle GPS systems, and many other sources, via the existing IP network. Any type of visual data can be ingested into the platform and shared to its users by simply attaching the input device to an encoder from Barco’s TransForm N family of products and connecting it to the organization’s IP network. On the output side, a TransForm N decoder or controller processes the information for display on any type of visualization device – from laptop screens to large-area displays -, in the traffic management center and far beyond.

Bright, collaborative overview displays

To clearly display all the information, Barco provides a wide range of high-resolution LED rear-projection and tiled LCD video walls that permit virtually unlimited integration of data and video sources. The latest newcomer is the OverView Seamless Video Wall (OSV) range of LED-lit displays. Featuring a large, curved, panoramic seamless canvas, OSV video walls allow a mix of data and video to be displayed simultaneously in high quality without the interruption of a single seam or bezel.

Expandable without limits

The system modularity and openness is one of the distinct capabilities of the Barco product offering for traffic management centers. As a subsystem provider, Barco always designs open and universal products that can easily interact with other equipment. In this way, new, 3D geospatial views, for example, can be added to elements already known from traditional scenarios. All it takes is to connect the input device to the corresponding TransForm N input node. The possibilities are literally infinite, with thousands of possible inputs being supported. The result: increased system flexibility and better decision-making.

Better and faster

“Barco solutions ensure a much higher level of awareness and visualization of everything that is happening, to help control room personnel view better, share faster and take actions faster,” says Dirk Hendrickx, Vice-President Strategic Marketing Industry and Government at Barco. That’s how Barco helps over 2.5 billion commuters get home safely every day.

Hear it from the users

As customer testimonials say more than any other marketing material, we asked several traffic operators why they integrated Barco solutions and what benefits these bring.

Mont Blanc Tunnel: great past experiences call for more Barco

On the Italian/French border, the control centers situated either side of the Mont Blanc Tunnel are equipped with a Centralized Technical Management (CTM) system that keeps the tunnel under constant surveillance. The system, which processes and automatically analyzes data from over 35,000 control points, including 120 video cameras, works seamlessly together with a Barco OLF video wall set-up.

“An older Barco wall had served us well for the past twelve years whereas, initially, we had only assumed a six-year life span,” said Cédric Petitcolin, Manager of the Technical Equipment division. “Yet newer solutions offer more possibilities, of course. With the new wall, we have an immense view of the SCADA system and any other data sources, which significantly improves collaboration and insight.”

Himmelreich Tunnel, Austria: a truly future-proof investment

The Austrian government discovered the strengths of Barco’s networked visualization solution and bright video walls a long time ago. A growing number of traffic control centers in the country employ a Barco management solution. The most recent installation, including eight LED-lit OL-721 modules, is used at the new control center outside the Himmelreich tunnel, in the southern state of Styria.

Besides the image quality and ease of configuration, Wolfgang Göbl, Technical Advisor at Styria’s traffic department, praises the installation’s low TCO and future-proofness: “From experience we know that Barco offers the best products and the best aftersales service, which makes for a surprisingly low Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). Moreover, future visualization needs can be met by extending the flexible TransForm N concept with additional TFN Input and Output nodes. So it will be easy to integrate extra safety information once we start monitoring a sixth tunnel in 2016. That makes our investment truly future-proof.”

 

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