Public buses protected by mobile CCTV

November 2007 Asset Management

Salineira, a public bus company that operates in the ‘Região dos Lagos’ region of Rio de Janeiro is part of the Jacob Barata Group, a major transportation company that owns 6300 buses throughout Brazil and Portugal. Salineira maintains a fleet of over 200 buses running in Cabo Frio, Arraial do Cabo, Armação dos Búzios, Araruama, Iguaba Grande and Saquarema.

Salineira prides itself on offering customers the most efficient and reliable service possible and is always looking for innovative ways to improve its operations. Not too long ago, the company began exploring ways to utilise the most advanced technology available to reduce delays at bus stops, create a safer, more secure mobile environment and to maximise the company's profits by ensuring that all customers pay for their ride.

According to Jonas Garcia, the IT manager for Salineira, the company wanted to incorporate the latest GPS and mobile surveillance technology to help drivers better pace their routes, and to create a digital record of bus card usage and ticketing. The company also liked having the option of monitoring live video of buses in transit.

Solution

Salineira was first introduced to SerVision's mobile CCTV solution in March 2006. The company expressed an interest in SerVision's IVG system, a four-channel mobile DVR with full GPS functionality that is capable of recording high resolution video on moving platforms and streaming live video to PCs and mobile devices over cellular networks. In mid-2006, Salineira recognised that the IVG's wide range of features could provide outstanding solutions to the very challenges it wanted to address. After a successful pilot period of several months, it determined that it wanted to deploy the IVG on its entire fleet of buses.

In June 2007, SerVision began providing support for the installation of its mobile security solution on buses operated by Salineira. 205 of the 6300 buses belonging to the Jacob Barata Group are now equipped with an IVG and two cameras. (The remaining buses will be equipped with IVGs by the end of 2008.) The IVG's built-in GPS module allows personnel at the Bus Station Headquarters to track the location of each bus. These employees can send electronic updates to the drivers indicating to them when to speed up and when to slow down depending on their precise location relative to other buses on a particular line.

"The idea is to minimise the wait time for customers at bus stops. Eventually, Salineira hopes to install TV monitors at each bus station so that customers themselves can track, in realtime, the location and anticipated arrival time of their bus," says Garcia.

In addition to deterring crime and vandalism, the on-board CCTV system locally records video of customer transactions, minimising the potential for passengers to cheat the system. In an effort to prevent customers with an electronic bus pass from offering free rides to other customers, Salineira personnel can remotely monitor customer transactions and ensure that no one is stealing rides. A live video stream over a GPRS cellular network allows for realtime monitoring of activities on the bus.

In terms of improved security, each bus is now equipped with a panic button connected to the IVG. In emergency cases, a driver can immediately alert authorities who can then follow the situation in realtime and respond accordingly. The IVG can be configured to send e-mails or SMS alerts to designated personnel, and realtime video from inside the bus can be viewed remotely on PCs and private mobile phones belonging to Salineira's managers and security officers.

Three SerVision backup servers are installed at the bus station headquarters so that all video can be stored and archived for playback at a later time. Wi-Fi cards installed in the IVG allow the backup servers to wirelessly download recorded video as soon as buses approach the station at the end of each business day. The bus station headquarters is equipped with six access points to provide maximum Wi-Fi coverage within the station's overnight parking and service terminal.

Result

So far, SerVision's solution has significantly increased the efficiency of Salineira's operations. The range of monitoring possibilities that the IVG offers - both through GPS and over cellular networks - has allowed the company to shorten delays on all of its routes and minimise losses brought on by dishonest customers.

"A combination of GPS and digital video technology was necessary for us to make the desired improvements to our service," Garcia says. "The GPS tracking helps our dispatchers regulate the pace of buses and the video recorder-transmitter allows us to monitor on-board customer transactions, and to deter theft and vandalism. We are very pleased with the results."

For more information contact Graphic Image Technologies, +27 (0)11 884 9570, markc@git.co.za, www.git.co.za



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