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Using Intelligent Networks to Ease Urban Traffic

As a city grows, so does the volume of people, goods, and cars that need to move through it. More roads and facilities may improve transit capacity, but there's no guarantee they'll reduce congestion or travel time, or enhance safety. Hence, real-time information on road conditions and local weather are crucially important to help travelers avoid traffic obstacles, and make better travel plans.

Data networks for road systems usually support comprehensive road signaling, surveillance and security response features. To sustain reliable, real-time operations over long periods, the network infrastructure needs more than large, fast data transfer. It also needs rugged networking capability, and robust devices to withstand the challenges of the outdoor environment. Efficient network management is also important – with quick, easy operations, from installation to monitoring to maintenance to troubleshooting – to meet the dynamic network requirements of intelligent transportation systems.

The two case studies below demonstrate how the right choice of underlying network helps improve traffic efficiency and public safety.

Case I: 10GbE Core Backbone for Tunnel Surveillance

The fourth bore of the Caldecott Tunnel in the Oakland Hills opened to traffic in 2013. Drivers and passengers in more than 160,000 vehicles every day save time and fuel, thanks to the Caldecott tunnel. The new tunnel bore is over 3,300 feet long, and it is ventilated by 19 jet fans.

System Needs

To ensure traveler safety and help traffic to flow efficiently, the tunnel’s Fire/Life Safety emergency systems can rely on a unified network infrastructure to detect and suppress a fire, and protect travelers.

There are linear heat detectors (LHD) for fire detection and carbon monoxide detectors to monitor air quality. Video image detection (VID) cameras are in charge of traffic monitoring, intelligent video analysis, and event notification in case of any incident inside the tunnel. When abnormal conditions occur, the system activates the ventilation jet fans, and provides motorists with instant information through variable message signs and the tunnel radio system.

Solution: Edge-to-Core Network Integration

To support the massive data processing demand of 24/7 video, messaging, and emergency services, the tunnel uses industrial core switches in the tunnel and the Operation and Maintenance Control (OMC) center as the communication backbone.

These high-port-density modular managed switches, each with 3 Gigabit uplink ports and up to 4 slots for fast Ethernet expansion modules (4 ports each), are installed along the highway and tunnel, connecting various edge devices. Multiple H.264 video encoders, capable of -40 to 75°C operation, encode video from up to four analog VID cameras each.

To enable real-time maintenance of the tunnel infrastructure network, a network management platform with a highly-intuitive user interface is installed at the control center. This platform auto-detects network devices, generates a visual network topology, displays the status of all network devices and physical links for real-time monitoring, generates event logs, and offers network event playback for easy troubleshooting.

Advantages: Enhanced Efficiency and Safety

The tunnel provides a smooth and dependable route for traffic. This smooth operation demonstrates how the 10-Gigabit network infrastructure integrates with various tunnel systems to safeguard the tunnel. These systems include signaling, surveillance, ventilation, fire and air quality monitoring. The network's edge-to-core connectivity features superior bandwidth, millisecond-level self-healing redundancy, wide temperature range operation, as well as easy management. Together, these features help the tunnel's 160,000 daily users to enjoy a safe and efficient journey.

Case II: PoE-Wired Surveillance for City Bus Transportation

Public transportation requires real-time information integration to protect public safety and maintain traffic efficiency. A city in Asia has invested in six BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) lines across the city and a networked real-time control and monitoring system to ensure their safe, trouble-free operation. The network covers all BRT stations and the control center. Taking into consideration the hierarchical nature of BRT systems, the system builds on a powerful Ethernet backbone to support centralized management and massive data and video aggregation from over 40 BRT stations.

System Needs

  • Centralized video management with multiplexed live display, recording, playback, and alarm reports
  • Easy location awareness and event-based alerts
  • Proven reliability for non-stop operations

Solution: HD Surveillance Network and Easy Management

To simplify staff duties, the BRT operator deployed an easy-to-use full-function surveillance network that handles automatic monitoring and alert systems.

The surveillance center uses IP surveillance software for intelligent recording and centralized video management. The powerful video management system makes it easy to perform live video monitoring, video playback, map display (Emap), remote I/O trigger, and incident management.

A modular rackmount switch is the key to simultaneously connect the surveillance, ticketing, alarm, and emergency callout systems within each BRT station. The high-port-density rackmount switches aggregate network connections to handle bandwidth-heavy data and video monitoring. These PoE switches use only Ethernet cable to connect and power up to eight IP cameras each, saving installation and maintenance cost on power cabling.

Every BRT station is fitted with multiple compact, vandal-proof IP cameras, both fixed dome and mini-dome. Both types provide 720P HD (high definition) surveillance, video enhancement and pre-alarm recording to reliably monitor all movements within the station, day and night.

Advantage: Non-Stop Services

Thousands of urban residents rely on the BRT to transport them safely every day without error or delay. The Ethernet switches were selected due to their high-density, seamless connectivity, with self-healing redundancy in under 20 milliseconds. The IP cameras guarantee day and night viewing with superior image quality, fanless design and a wide operating temperature range from -40 to 75°C. Incident video can be retrieved either from centralized video management or local camera storage. All networking devices have long-term guarantees to ensure maximum reliability and performance for the public.

Moxa Offers Integrated Network Solutions for Intelligent Transportation

Today, road safety and efficiency depend on real-time information and communication more than ever. To increase traffic flow, reduce congestion, and improve incident response times, Moxa provides expert services and robust edge-to-core industrial network solutions to meet the demands of intelligent transportation systems from roads, to tunnels, to e-Buses, to Electronic Toll Collection (ETC). To explore how experts have deployed intelligent transportation systems with Moxa, please download our ITS solution brochure and visit our portal.

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