Video surveillance in public transport

November 2016 Transport (Industry), CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring

A robust public transport sector is key to a thriving African economy; it decreases the number of vehicles on the road, it alleviates congestion and it reduces the carbon footprint. Clifton Greeff, senior business development manager and transport security solutions specialist at Sensor Security, talks more about how modern operators can ensure a safer commuter experience.

Clifton Greeff, senior business development manager and transport security solutions specialist at Sensor Security.
Clifton Greeff, senior business development manager and transport security solutions specialist at Sensor Security.

“We’ve taken a close look at the role video surveillance plays in public transport and the technologies and solutions that can aid operators in running their day to day business more efficiently. And given how liability claims have become more commonplace, we’ve investigated incident management as an important part of this solution too,” Greeff says.

A transport operator is faced with numerous challenges, including: a diversity of environments, health of equipment and system integration. Henry Brown, Sensor Security sales director, explains, “Video surveillance is used where commuters are present at stations or when they are on-board a bus or a train. These are known as static or mobile environments – and each has its own set of circumstances.

“For example, the safety of the commuters at stations is paramount, while at the depots it’s the assets that one wants to protect. Operators also need to make sure that there are no obstructions en route that may put passengers at risk or cause scheduling delays.”

The duo explain that in static environments one typically sees a high camera count, which in turn leads to many missed incidents. Multiple cameras also require intensive monitoring and – more often than not – it’s difficult to locate the moment in question.

Greeff expands, “When an incident occurs, video evidence is typically required from two different systems, making it harder for operators to supply solid forensic evidence, leaving them legally vulnerable.

“If you think the camera count in the static environment is high, this number quickly rises in a fleet. As an operator, one needs to ensure that the equipment fitted to a vehicle, train or bus can withstand dust, vibration and heat.”

Harsh conditions result in a high equipment failure rate and can even damage the host vehicle. What’s more, many of these cameras are not viewed live – largely given bandwidth and data storage constraints – making it hard to ascertain whether they are functioning or not. And as mentioned previously, operators need to ensure that their cameras are online, recording, focused and unobstructed. So that should there be an incident, there is footage available.

Greeff continues, “This strongly indicates the value of an in-depth health monitoring system. And in fact, in the world of mobile surveillance system health monitoring, this has been a critical part in guaranteeing a 99% uptime.”

“Historically, public transport systems rely on two completely different video management systems,” Greeff continues, “but at Sensor, it’s our goal to deliver a modern surveillance system that caters for both mobile and static environments, as well as offer system health monitoring within a pro-active, event driven system with a structured work flow for the controllers. The result is a safer and more efficient public transport system for passenger, transport operator and their employees.”



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