Video security: a driving force

September 2011 Surveillance

Cape Town reduces traffic congestion with Endura and Sarix.

Bound by the Atlantic Ocean to the west and the Indian Ocean to the east, Cape Town is hailed as one of the most beautiful cities in the world. The city hosted the 2010 FIFA World Cup in June and July 2010 and established the Goodwood Transport Management Centre (TMC)) to manage the influx of traffic during the event and on an ongoing basis.

To do so, existing systems were integrated with a new Pelco Endura Network Video Management System and Sarix cameras that are monitored from the TMC using Pelco workstations. The project was jointly funded by the city and the national government through 2010 FIFA World Cup grants.

The TMC is the first integrated public transport, traffic and security management centre in South Africa, and one of the first of its kind in the world. It is the result of a partnership between the City of Cape Town, the Western Cape Provincial Government and the South African National Roads Agency, which came together with the goals of improving road safety and incident response, reducing congestion and offering live traffic updates to motorists.

Once construction of the TMC building was completed in November 2009, the city employed the help of Bona Electronics Solutions, a company within the Basix Group, to implement its CCTV Freeway Management System. Bona sales manager, Rick de Araujo worked with Pelco supplier, Sentronics, to design a solution that would fully meet the city’s needs.

“The purpose of the system is to facilitate the free-flow of traffic,” Araujo said. “Operators sit at workstations in front of the video wall and they assess when there is a backup of traffic and then display messages (on Variable Message Signs) to redirect it.”

Operators assess traffic with the Endura system using video relayed from nearly 200 high-definition, megapixel Sarix cameras located along the N1, N2 and R300 freeways. Video from existing systems used by the metro police and Integrated Rapid Transit bus system is also monitored at the TMC, making the total number of cameras monitored there more than 600.

Shawn Michaels, national sales manager for Sentronics, said the Endura system and Sarix HD cameras were essential to overcoming viewing challenges the city had experienced in the past using analogue systems. “The installation of the Sarix HD cameras resulted in higher-quality video and improved colour reproduction,” he said. “Making identification of vehicles, scenes and objects of interest very easy.”

The TMC opened in May 2010, just weeks before World Cup events began. “Joint operations in this high-tech, designed-for-purpose facility will result in improved incident and information management and will ensure effective and efficient traffic and public transport operations in the city of Cape Town,” said Cape Town Mayor, Dan Plato in a statement.

Since then, the TMC and Pelco video security system have been credited with helping to ensure the World Cup events ran smoothly and reducing overall traffic congestion that once plagued South African urban freeways.

*Article supplied by Pelco by Schneider.

For more information contact Pelco, +27 (0)12 809 3493, [email protected],

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