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ITS to be used to reduce holiday congestion in Iowa

With the inevitable traffic jams coming in the summer vacation period, Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) with IP (Internet Protocol) video technology will be playing an increasingly important role in helping state and local governments reduce congestion, improve safety and make roadways more efficient. In Iowa, the City of Dubuque has been engaged in a large-scale effort to build a citywide ITS that connects traffic signals, intersection cameras and other IP-addressable technologies to an Ethernet over fiber optic network. This provides traffic engineers with dynamic, centralized control over traffic flow throughout the town. Axis network cameras, supplied by the Swedish company’s partner and systems integrator, RACOM Corporation, have been deployed at 80 key intersections and along major roadways and bridges in the city to date. The video footage, managed through Milestone XProtect video management software (VMS), helps city engineers analyze traffic patterns and make critical adjustments, such as changing the timing of signals when accidents push vehicles onto alternate routes, and adjusting signage and lane markings without engaging in costly construction. The video also helps police determine the nature of accidents, while traffic engineers can use that information to improve safety and reduce accidents in the future.

The use of Intelligent, IP-based video is fast becoming an integral component of traffic management systems across the USA. In 2011, the US Department of Transportation released a comprehensive survey of ITS deployments indicating that the number of freeway miles covered by video surveillance increased from 15% in 2000 to 45% in 2010. In recent years, advances in digital, IP video technology have added more functionality to systems, including HDTV quality resolution, powerful processors ready for advanced analytics and flexible, open IP standards, which allow traffic departments to assemble best-in-class systems that can be controlled remotely over a fiber optic, Ethernet or wireless network.

In the Dubuque deployment, IP cameras, such as the day/night Axis P1355-E Network Camera maintain excellent image quality even in low-light conditions, and the Q1604-E Network Camera uses Wide Dynamic Range & Dynamic Capture to help fight glare from traffic lights, headlights and the sun. This produces clear, unobstructed images to aid police in investigations of accidents, crimes and other incidents. David Ness, traffic engineer for the City of Dubuque, noted, “By using cameras and other IP communication technology, we have been able to push thousands more vehicles onto our busiest roadways at a tenth of the cost of physical construction.”

June 6, 2014

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