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Traffic control rooms


“Operators can now switch from one PC or server device to another and interact with a number of devices through one keyboard and mouse”


A 3D rendering of the control room equipment for the UK Highways Agency’s A3 Hindhead tunnel project, designed and installed by Electrosonic


high quality images to the operators. With the advent of IP-encoded video


cameras, the ability to stream more CCTV images in new locations has increased. Whilst this new technol- ogy has brought advantages, it has also brought challenges. The control room technology environment has become more of an IT environment. Due to the need for increased bandwidth, net- works and associated equipment have to be upgraded. IP cameras’ resolution is increasing, meaning that the need for multiple cameras is reduced by using fewer higher-resolution devices, but providing enhanced imagery to control room operators. With all the information being pro-


vided within the control room there is an increased need to share this infor- mation with others. Emergency services and other agencies are now expecting to be able to see information within traffic control rooms within their own facilities. Technologies to stream these images at high resolution, low bandwidth and in real time are now available and being uti- lised. Video conference systems within meeting rooms is also common, however with the improvements in video stream


Europe/Rest of the World Vol 8 No 2


quality and the size of camera devices it is now possible for operators to have high quality imagery and audio at their desktop. Outside of the Control room there are


many new technologies that can assist control room operators. One such exam- ple is the use of on-body cameras. These can be used to stream live images back to the control room enabling engineers to show the control room staff faults, damage or other hardware issues. This new technology offers a more collabora- tive way of working helping to improve operational efficiency. As systems become ever more sophis-


ticated, the new technology brings many benefits, however they can also be sus- ceptible to failure. Traffic operators and maintenance engineers can use the tech- nology to provide them with automatic fault monitoring alerts of hardware and systems both in the control room and outside in the field.


ACT, REACT AND INTERACT The ability to record the interaction the operator has with the systems, data and video sources allows operators to review and learn from situations and events


thinkinghighways.com


and provide evidential data should it be required. Applications used for the management of traffic systems can also now provide scripts and procedures for incidents or situations. The intellectual property of dealing with such events is provided to the operator rather than operators referring to printed manuals/ procedures. This automated, stored infor- mation gives immediate information and reduces misinterpretation and the need for operators to “know everything”. All these technological changes


enhance the environment for the opera- tors and are designed to improve effi- ciency. Change is the only constant in a control room environment so we can expect more in the near future. The traf- fic control room of the future will be more demanding than today’s control room, it will need to adapt to keep up and provide the necessary service levels that clients and the public expect.


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paul.brooks@electrosonic.comwww.electrosonic.com


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 Paul Brooks is Control Rooms Sales Manager at Electrosonic


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