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Traficon Vlamingstraat 19 B-8560 Wevelgem, Belgium tel +32 (0)56 37 22 00 fax +32 (0)56 37 21 96 www.traficon.

com VAT BE 0865 436 275

IP video talk
Traffic video detection with network cameras

Contents 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Introduction .............................................................................................. 3 Cabling and equipment ........................................................................... 3 Network ..................................................................................................... 5 Cameras and encoders ........................................................................... 8 Resolution .............................................................................................. 10 Suppliers and partners .......................................................................... 11 Maintenance ........................................................................................... 12 Reliability ................................................................................................ 13 Security ................................................................................................... 13

10 Conclusion ............................................................................................. 14 Addendum: About Traficon......................................................................... 15

About Traficon ...................................................................................................................................... 15 Company mission & objectives ........................................................................................................... 16 References............................................................................................................................................. 16

Revision history
Version V1.0 Author Eddy Vermeulen Description Initial version

Traficon, Vlamingstraat 19, B-8560 Wevelgem, Belgium tel +32 (0)56 37.22.00 fax +32 (0)56 37.21.96 V.A.T. BE 0865.436.275

1 Introduction
The security and surveillance market have been riding the wave of network video for several years now. At each major security event, hundreds of manufacturers are spreading the message of migrating towards a fully networked system. Independent analyst such as IMS Research report technology adoption rates between 20 and 40% and IP video market growth rates of up to 200% in the coming 5 years. Network cameras are expected to account for 50% of total new camera sales by 2014, thus overtaking the analogue camera market potential. Especially the government and transportation industry are predicted to have huge potential.

Expected video market growth per segment (source: IMS Research, 2010) Despite this commonly accepted knowledge, IP video only appears to enter with very small steps into the traffic monitoring and management world. The active implementations are still limited to a few pioneer projects. Most tenders today still describe an analogue infrastructure. One of the reasons for this slow migration is a load of unanswered questions from operators, system integrators, designers and consultants. How mature is the technology? How good does it perform compared to well-known analogue solutions? Whats the impact of migration on existing infrastructures? How do costs compare? How about maintenance and lifecycle management? What do we need to specify today to be in line with future developments in this fast evolving world? This paper tries to describe the impact, benefits and pitfalls for moving to a networked world in traffic management applications as a whole and traffic video detection specifically.

2 Cabling and equipment

The choice for IP video has a major impact on the whole infrastructure, especially cabling. The traditional coax cables are replaced by Ethernet shielded (STP = shielded twisted pair) or unshielded (UTP = unshielded twisted pair) connections. Though they look almost identically the same, Ethernet cables come in different qualities. Older infrastructures may still have Category 5 (Cat. 5) cabling, allowing network speeds up to 100 Mbps. All newer installations typically have at least Cat. 5E cables, supporting 1000 Mbps networking. Cat. 6 cabling provides a better quality in terms of noise sensitivity and crosstalk, meaning it supports a higher bandwidth and is less susceptible to disturbances. While Cat. 5E cables may be sufficient for 1000 Mbps networking, it is wise to select Cat. 6E for critical applications. There is quite a big chance these cables are close to power lines or other communication cables in public infrastructures so a better cable quality can easily prevent problems that are difficult to trace and correct. It will for sure also be a wiser investment by supporting future network technology evolution and network cabling is not always easily replaced. On the other hand, it may be difficult to find such cables locally with the correct environmental specs (e.g. halogen free for fire safety requirements).

Traficon, Vlamingstraat 19, B-8560 Wevelgem, Belgium tel +32 (0)56 37.22.00 fax +32 (0)56 37.21.96 V.A.T. BE 0865.436.275

From top to bottom: Cat. 6, Cat. 5e, Cat. 5, and a standard telephone cable for comparison. Bridging a certain distance remains a major design challenge. Where video over coax could quite easily run over 500 meters, direct Ethernet connections are limited to 100 meters. For longer distances, fibre optic cable is still the most popular medium but networking over fibre requires different equipment and/or cables than video over fibre. For geographically distributed systems, public communication infrastructure is widely available for transporting IP (Internet Protocol) signals. Bear in mind though that, while the digital nature of IP signals more easily adopts to telecommunication systems, the high data load associated with video also may come with high communication costs. These costs are very much related to regional availability and competitive market situation of telecommunication providers. This is something one should take into account from design up to maintenance. One major advantage of using structured cabling is the common use of this medium. Not only video will benefit from the IP highway. More and more equipment uses Ethernet as the preferred interface type for configuration, management, control, data transfer etc. This implies that the cabling design is no longer specific for the CCTV (closed circuit television) subsystem but should consider the system as a whole. Besides the cabling, one also benefits from the wide availability of industry standard networking equipment such as switches, routers, and media converters. Bulky analogue video switching matrices with proprietary control interfaces are a story of the past. In fact, the network now plays the role of a virtual matrix, routing, multiplexing and duplicating video streams. Be aware though that designing a video network is not the same as designing a data network. (See 3. Network) It may be tempting to consider commercial PCs (Personal Computer) as the base component to build IP solutions. After all, we live in the YouTube era and are all used to look at videos on the PC, connect them to large networks, store videos on them, process the holiday videos on it etc One benefits from a huge market base of personal computers that are seem fairly interchangeable. Dont be fooled though: a PC was not invented with handling the huge amount of video data in mind. Essentially, a processor inside the PC is extremely fast in doing things sequentially that fast that it appears to do several tasks at the same time. Best case, a quad CPU (Central Processing Unit) does four transactions at the same time. When it comes to video, all typical processes, such as analytics, encoding, decoding have to perform identical calculations thousands of time (on each pixel) within the period of a single frame (1/25th of a second). Such operations benefit much more from massive parallel processing equipment, rather than a very fast sequential CPU. Thats why when you look under the hood of a PC - you will see that tasks like decoding are performed on separate multimedia chips and/or graphics boards. These boards are always proprietary in their drivers and software, reducing the interchangeability to a nice dream. Secondly, the PC market is heavily driven by the consumer market, where users want to watch a single video, a single television station, a single clip, process a home video, and so on, but never more than

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one or a few at any time. For traffic and surveillance, we need to deal with a large amount of video channels simultaneously. This is where one soon bumps into the limits of PC platforms. Besides this performance dilemma, there are a number of other disadvantages to PC technology for traffic detection applications. A PC is designed for operation in air-conditioned offices and server rooms where traffic detection functionality is often allocated in technical rooms near tunnels and even in roadside cabinets. Embedded electronics that are built to operate in temperatures from -40C to +72C are more resistant to this kind of harsh circumstances. PCs contain a lot of components to be suited to do a variety of tasks. Together with the presence of mechanical fans, this results in a typical mean time between failure (MTBF) of 4 years. Embedded solutions are designed uniquely for their task and have lifetimes of 20 years or more. Not only do they have a longer lifetime, the embedded electronics components are also available in the market for a longer time. PC technology is driven by the fast moving consumer market. The lifecycle of PC components is typically 18 months or less. The same applies for the software (operating systems) that drives these PCs. This has a negative impact on the long term support. From a consumption point of view, Pcs typically use 250 a 350 Watts where an embedded traffic detection solution runs on average on 5 watts. In times where the word green is becoming more of a requirement then a hype, this becomes quite important. But there is more: as most of this power is dissipated as heat, this also puts higher requirements on the cooling infrastructure around the PCs. For serviceability, embedded electronics have another advantage over PC technology: board solutions are typically hot swappable and replacements are up and running in a matter of seconds. Replacing a PC means shutting down, replacing the hardware, re-installing the software, configure it and finally start up to functional mode, a process that can take hours. Finally, if by any failure should occurs, a defect board means only one camera without video detection while multi-channel PCs often control 8 or more channels to justify the cost. The table below summarizes the advantages of embedded electronics over PCs for traffic video detection applications. Embedded electronics Parallel processing Hardware video compression -40 to +72 C MTBF = 20 year Long hardware availability Embedded software Typically 5 Watts Hot-swap MTTR < 5 minutes Defect affects 1 channel PC Sequential processing air-conditioned room MTBF = 4 year Hardware lifecycle = 18 months Commercial operating system 250 a 350 Watts Proper shutdown required Reinstallation software needed Defect = 8 channels down


3 Network
By moving to IP video solutions, the network becomes an even more critical system component than it was before. A reliable network becomes the primary condition for all operations. Designers should be aware that the architecture and functioning of a network for video distribution has some fundamental differences as opposed to data networks. In a typical client server network, servers occasionally pull information from many sources and different users with desktop computers can request this information or reports from that server database. In a video network, a large number of cameras continuously push a relatively stable but high load of video information onto a network, thus being available for any client that needs it. The information is no longer on demand but published. The fundamental difference between selective pulling of limited amounts of data as opposed to a constant push of video content has a severe impact on the requirements of all network devices. The network designer should understand the application flow of video and adapt the network dimension to the worst case scenario where many clients are subscribing to the same video information at the same time. This situation will occur in the most critical moment: when an incident happens. One of the network technologies supporting the multiple user scenario above is multicasting. In a multicast environment, a video source (camera or encoder) transmits its video stream only once on the network and the network devices (intelligent switches and routers) distribute this stream only to the Traficon, Vlamingstraat 19, B-8560 Wevelgem, Belgium tel +32 (0)56 37.22.00 fax +32 (0)56 37.21.96 V.A.T. BE 0865.436.275 5

clients (computers, video walls, recording devices, etc...) that actually need it. The distribution works by means of a subscription mechanism. This system requires managed switches and/or routers with a certain level of intelligence, support for multicast standards: IGMP (Internet Group Management Protocol) V2, IGMP V3, snooping, querier services, etc... and with sufficient processing power. Any lack of these requirements will result in video streams being flooded throughout the whole network, potentially overloading the whole system and affecting other critical operational components.

In unicast mode, one stream is send to each client that requests it. In broadcast mode, video streams are sent to each client, regardless if needed it or not. In multicast mode, a single stream is send and distributed only to the clients that subscribed. Another option to deal with network load is moving functionalities to the edge of the network. Recording can be done in local technical concentrator rooms, rather than on one central location and some camera manufacturers even start to offer embedded solid-state storage options. Traffic video detection can be set up in a decentralized way where the analyzers are located close to the camera: along the roadside or in decentralized technical rooms. The video information then does no longer need to be routed to the central control room. Instead, only limited amounts of detection data and short video sequences can be send in case an anomaly or incident is detected. The only condition for these decentralized solutions is that the equipment typically no longer enjoys the luxury of heated and air-conditioned operator buildings but needs to withstand the harsh circumstances of field deployment. This excludes the use of low-cost commercial PCs and cameras but thats probably not a good idea anyway for an application that supports the life-critical traffic security.

In a centralized system architecture, all high quality video streams for traffic detection go over the fibre optic backbone to the technical room.

Traficon, Vlamingstraat 19, B-8560 Wevelgem, Belgium tel +32 (0)56 37.22.00 fax +32 (0)56 37.21.96 V.A.T. BE 0865.436.275

In a decentralized system architecture, the high quality video streams for traffic detection remain within the roadside cabinet switch. Only small traffic data information packets and alarm information is send over the backbone to the technical and/or control room. To allow video to be transported over a standard network, the video information needs to be compressed. Video compression schemes such as MPEG typically combine a number of sequential frames in a video sequence end encode only the differences to minimize the resulting data. As a consequence, both the encoding process at the transmitter side and the decoding at the client side require a number of frames to be gathered before the process can do its work. This is the main cause of latency that is typically associated with networked video. This delay can go up to half a second or more. For visualization and detection, such delay is not so critical, though one has to add it to the response time. It becomes critical when the signal is used for interactive control as well e.g. controlling a PTZ (pan tilt zoom) camera with a joystick. In this case, one should take special care about the encoding latency, often impacting the bandwidth need. Note that the latency of transferring signals over a network can safely be neglected, compared to the time needed for encoding and decoding. There are a lot of advantages related to flexibility in having all video available on a network. If welldesigned, it becomes quite easy to expand a system by simply adding sensor nodes, visualization posts, control terminals, detector boards, recording units etc... Directing the right stream to the right destination is simply a matter of software configuration without the need to pull any additional cables or add signal replication hardware. It also becomes easy to share information with remote and/or public instances over the internet. The internet growth is clearly not yet to its end and sharing information to the public is becoming so obvious one cannot longer ignore that need. Sooner or later, the public will demand real-time traffic information and video. One important note about network capacity. This bandwidth capacity is expressed by the speed of the network. The common copper connections support 10, 100 or 1000 Mbps; fibre optic connections can easily support more than 1 Gbps. Unfortunately, this bandwidth specification does not exactly reflects what you can send over a network. Most network traffic is not constant, it comes in bursts. For example, the I-frames every half a second of a compressed MPEG video stream will put a higher load on the wire than the intermediate P-frames. While the average bandwidth maybe 4 Mbps for the whole stream, the actual use during the I-frame transmission will be much higher. Besides this typical network video issue, there will always be other unpredictable control traffic on the network. As network traffic gets higher, the chance that two devices try to send information on the same wire at the same time increases, this is called a collision. Depending on the kind of network traffic, this may result in re-transmitting of the information, increasing the bandwidth again. In the case of video, re-transmission is not an option because the timing of the information is critical. For video, the collisions will simply result in dropped Traficon, Vlamingstraat 19, B-8560 Wevelgem, Belgium tel +32 (0)56 37.22.00 fax +32 (0)56 37.21.96 V.A.T. BE 0865.436.275 7

packets, showing as artefacts in the video signal or even completely dropped frames. In a video network with traffic detection this situation, called saturation of the network, needs to be avoided at all cost. The typical solution in network design is to limit the use of any network segment to 40%. As such, a 100 Mbps network segment should never carry more than 10 video streams of 4 Mbps for example. All this cries for a global design and structured system approach. Too often tenders still appear to be chapter-by-chapter translations of analogue systems containing distinct descriptions for cameras, cabling, traffic video detection, visualization and recording. In a networked system, all of these components influence one another in the central nervous system: the network. When separating the ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) job from the sensor choice and the processing blocks, one is sure to end up with a system that will not work as a whole. For sure there is still plenty of room for improvement at the tender and project planning side.

4 Cameras and encoders

Being the eye of any surveillance system, the camera should be considered as the most important component in the chain. When your sensor is not good, dont expect any valuable information at the operator side. When doing automatic detection or analytics on these images, this is even more true: where the human eye has its imperfection and can be quite forgiving when it comes to small image defects, a computer system processes and notices every single wrong bit that comes out of a camera, sometimes leading to wrong information. Unfortunately, at the moment of writing this article, IP cameras do not have a strong reputation when it comes to sensitivity. Lets be clear: there are definitely great cameras out there that outperform any requirement for traffic surveillance and traffic video detection. There are however with IP cameras also a number of new reasons why many cameras may not meet the needs. First of all, there is the sensor chip itself. During previous years, most analogue cameras were based on CCD (Charge-Coupled Device) sensors. With the advance of sensor technology a new sensor technology is conquering the video market: CMOS (Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor). CMOS sensors are lower cost and are available more easily in higher resolutions (megapixel cameras).

CMOS sensor

CCD sensor

While this technology is evolving very fast and some CMOS sensors are already up to their CCD brothers, a lot of them still suffer from a typical CMOS drawback: lower light sensitivity. Especially for outdoor monitoring and traffic control, in low- or no- light night conditions, this is a serious pain. The lower sensitivity is not just related to the technology itself but also to the fact that higher resolution sensors are produced, hence more pixels are cropped into the same sensor surface and less light is received per pixel. One will notice in the market today that the cameras with best sensitivity are often not the ones with extremely high megapixel resolutions. Also be aware of cameras that compensate the lower light sensitivity by combining frames: you will end up with a video stream that has a lower frame rate than a traditional one had (25 or 30 frames per second). Yes, this delivers images that have had a longer exposure to light in dark environments, but at a reduced frame rate of 15 or less frames per second. This is not only a drawback for the visualization (display flicker, smearing) but it will also affect the quality of traffic video detection. Especially speed measurements benefit from a higher image update rate. CMOS drawbacks are slowly disappearing as technology evolves. Many manufacturers already have good CMOS products and have promising roadmaps for the coming years. Still, one should take extreme care in selecting the right camera for the job. Traficon, Vlamingstraat 19, B-8560 Wevelgem, Belgium tel +32 (0)56 37.22.00 fax +32 (0)56 37.21.96 V.A.T. BE 0865.436.275

IP cameras need to provide compressed video streams. As a result, the encoding part of the camera now also affects video quality and capabilities of the camera. Whereas MPEG-4 and the newer H.264 compression schemes appear to be a global standard, the actual implementation and codec details are not. Different codecs (= the actual encoding software/hardware inside the devices) can have different quality and capabilities. Compressing video is a very computing-intensive task. Design of the processing part of a camera is often a balance between capabilities, cost, performance, power usage and - indirectly related environmental specifications. A compressed video stream gets roughly specified by a certain encoding scheme (MJPEG, MPEG-4, H.264), a resolution (VGA, D1, CIF, QCID, HD), a frame rate (30 -25 15 frames per second) and a bitrate (e.g. 4 megabits per second). While most camera specifications state maxima for all these distinct features, they rarely provide detail about what is available simultaneously. It is not exceptional to find in manuals that certain high bitrates (which roughly stands for image quality) are not available at full frame rate. Or that certain resolutions are only available in MPEG and not in H.264 (which is more computing-intensive than MPEG-4). These details are mostly exposed in the manuals of the camera but not in the specifications.

Historical evolution of video compression schemes. A typical system requires different kinds of video streams for different applications. Full frame rate and very good image quality is advised for traffic video detection. Visualisation also benefits from the full frame rate to avoid display flicker but may be acceptable at a lower bitrate as the human eye is not so sensitive to picture details. For recording purposes, a lower frame rate can be perfectly acceptable and saves storage space and cost. Fortunately, most high-end cameras and/or encoders nowadays support multi-stream encoding to optimize the system solution. This should be taken into account when selecting the camera and/or encoder.

Different applications require different video stream characteristics. I used the words global standard above. In fact that is where IP solutions probably get the most criticism. Even though MPEG and H.264 are very familiar terms for some time now, the standards leave plenty of room for differences in detailed implementation, leading to a large variety of manufacturerspecific features that makes equipment incompatible with other equipment and/or software. The output of a camera is no longer a simple, unambiguously defined electrical signal with worldwide known voltages, timings, etc, but a digital stream that may vary a lot in content and features per device. Two major groups are now trying to bring some standardization into the world of IP video and other devices: ONVIF (Open Network Video Interface Forum) and PSIA (Physical Security Interoperability Alliance). While these are very promising initiatives, one should remain sceptical: apart from the fact that both are still in a competitive mood, these standards again leave quite some room for manufacturer implementations. They also do not specify the compression scheme details; instead they try to add a standard way of communicating the capabilities of a device. If certain devices and/or software will than actually work together still depends on individual implementations. We can only hope this will evolve some day to a single, clear and workable global standard.

Traficon, Vlamingstraat 19, B-8560 Wevelgem, Belgium tel +32 (0)56 37.22.00 fax +32 (0)56 37.21.96 V.A.T. BE 0865.436.275

5 Resolution
I used the term resolution a few times already. In the analogue world, basically only two video standards were in use: PAL and NTSC. These standards defined a number of video lines and were through digitization commonly presented in full D1 resolution: 768 horizontal pixels x 576 vertical lines for PAL and 640 horizontal pixels x 480 vertical lines for NTSC. Some lower resolutions are derived from these: 1/2D1, CIF, QCIF.

Common CCTV resolutions With IP video, a new range of resolutions comes to the market. First of all, some resolutions are derived from the PC display world: VGA (Video Graphics Array), SVGA (Super VGA) XGA (Extended Graphics Array). They typically have a 4:3 (width over height) aspect ratio.

Common computer resolutions Secondly, HD (High Definition) television brought a new range of video resolutions. They come as either interlaced (i) or progressive (p) and with 720 lines or 1080 lines. HD is often available as 1280 x 720,

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sometimes referred to as HD ready, but real full HD is defined as 1920 x 1080. The aspect ratio is 16:9.

HD (High Definition) and SD (Standard Definition) resolutions Thirdly, there is a large variety of megapixel sensors. There is no standard defined for these. Essentially, anything that has more then 1 million pixels is considered megapixel. As such, full HD is also a megapixel resolution; in fact it is the only standardized megapixel resolution. In the other megapixel resolutions, there is a wild growth of different resolutions and aspect ratios in the race for having the most pixels. The megapixel hype only just began. One should be aware that many megapixel cameras provide a non-standard image that may not fit properly on standard aspect ratio displays, may not be compatible with recording devices and give no added value for analytics such as traffic video detection. Very often also, processing power is not available to deliver the megapixel resolution at standard frame rates. One will find a many 3-, 4- or more megapixel cameras providing an image refresh of only 5 to 15 frames per second. Very often also, megapixel resolution comes at the price of a low light sensitivity. The main advantage of high megapixel resolutions is a larger field of view and the presence of more detail in the picture, allowing for example to digitally zoom in without degrading to a blurry image.

6 Suppliers and partners

Essentially, most established partners and suppliers of analogue solutions will remain the same but youll need at least one new one. All established camera manufacturers are working hard on IP versions of their products. Due to the commonality and low cost of some of the components (e.g. CMOS sensors), a lot of young, new exotic players are also emerging world-wide in this domain. Too often though, they miss the expertise in the surrounding components that have remained the same: good lenses, supporting software, a worldwide service, etc It is probably the best choice to stick with the established suppliers despite the tempting and loud marketing violence of some market pioneers. All recording specialists are migrating their product portfolio from VCR (Video Cassette Recorder) to NVR (Network Video Recording) over DVR (Digital Video Recording). It is worth noting that some manufacturers also offer hybrid systems. These allow for both analogue and IP cameras to be connected to the recording device. This may be important for installations where one still has to deal with some old legacy equipment too or for refurbishment projects. The same applies for traffic video equipment. Traficon offers detection boards for both analogue and digital cameras. It is important to stick with an experienced partner with a good service as the nature of video detection does not change regardless if it is an analogue or networked system. In fact, it is proven that detection performance is exactly the same as long as cameras and encoders remain of good quality.

Traficon, Vlamingstraat 19, B-8560 Wevelgem, Belgium tel +32 (0)56 37.22.00 fax +32 (0)56 37.21.96 V.A.T. BE 0865.436.275


The Traficon video detection rack at Tyne tunnel, Newcastle, UK Visualization suppliers also offer a wide variety of analogue and digital monitor solutions. Whats new in the game though is the video transport mechanism. Where as installing an analogue camera network was basically pulling coax cables by electricians, IP-based camera networks have to be designed, installed, configured and maintained by IT specialists who program firewalls and manage network bandwidth. Moreover, video networks do not behave the same as data networks. It is mandatory to find a reliable partner with experience in building and maintaining video networks.

7 Maintenance
IP video also brings some new aspects to the maintenance of a traffic surveillance system. As the network is a critical component, network management and monitoring plays an important role in the health monitoring of the system. Common network management software typically uses SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol) communication to monitor the health of all subsystems. As cameras, encoders, decoders, analytics equipment, NVRs, etc... become part of the shared network, one sees an increasing support and integration with standard network monitoring software. A sudden change in data load may very well indicate a problem with such devices that may impact the proper functioning of all other players on the common network. In case of malfunctioning, such as missing video from one of the cameras, diagnostics becomes more complicated. In the analogue world, a simple electrical measurement quickly reveals problems in the video source or any intermediate signal transport device. In the IP world, one needs to track a digital video stream within a large network. This requires network monitoring software. Managed network devices also give loads of troubleshooting information which requires network specialists to understand and interpret. The advantage of an IP system is that most troubleshooting and monitoring can easily be done remotely. One no longer needs to go to different sites to verify proper electrical connections. Moreover, suppliers with remote access to the system can intervene very fast and diagnose any issues from within their offices.

Traficon, Vlamingstraat 19, B-8560 Wevelgem, Belgium tel +32 (0)56 37.22.00 fax +32 (0)56 37.21.96 V.A.T. BE 0865.436.275


8 Reliability
From a pure hardware point of view, there should be no big difference in reliability of IP video systems compared to analogue systems. There is no reason for major differences in lifetime between analogue and digital video components. Re-routing of video signals is now purely a matter of software configuration. This gives new opportunities for redundant solutions: a few spare devices, or rather channels can be set aside to instantly cover for any failure in the system, without having to physically replace or re-connect components on-site. This is valid for each system component that processes, uses or transports the digital video stream. As were still at the beginning of the IP video breakthrough, it is hard to say what the lifetime policies will evolve to. Being linked to the huge and fast consumer market for built-in sensors in mobile devices, camcorders, webcams, home surveillance equipment etc one could expect a much faster changing pace of products than used to be the case with analogue systems. This may adversely affect the lifetime support of many manufacturers. On the other hand, as technology matures, one can surely expect analogue alternatives to become phased out as well. So you may not have a choice anymore soon and maintaining analogue systems may become much more difficult than it is today. Choosing an analogue system today for an application that is expected to run for twenty years or more is already taking a high risk towards system lifecycle management.

9 Security
The integrity of a geographically spread IP video system is threatened in a completely new way. It is not uncommon that roadside cabinets have been vandalized or broken into by people with less honourable intentions. With analogue systems, damage was mostly restricted to stolen or broken material at that specific site. In an IP video system, each connected device and location is theoretically an access gate to the rest of the network. In a non-secured, open network, it is perfectly possible to connect to a local cabinet switch and access from there other locations and / or central equipment. This can cause a much larger damage with a system-wide impact! Software vulnerability becomes a higher threat than physical intrusion. When it comes to privacy, many cameras and other IP devices provide simple access protection. One also sees more and more the availability of masking zone functionality on IP cameras. This allows masking or cutting an area out of the image that has no added value to the surveillance but may be a potential privacy intrusion matter (e.g. masking building windows in urban areas). At the same time, society increasingly calls for - and expects real-time public information. Many projects exist already where a user can go online and actually look at the traffic situation in an area he plans to travel to. This even becomes a mobile option, allowing dynamic adapting of the travel plans, based on real-time visual information. This inherently means publishing information from downstream sensors directly upstream to the public. This adds another dimension to the security concerns. Fortunately, there are plenty of tools that exist to build a secure network: user authentication, firewalls, encryption, etc... One should just be aware that this may add an additional effort and cost to the system design but also to the daily management of the system. Today, many public networks have open gates, just waiting to be hacked.

Traficon, Vlamingstraat 19, B-8560 Wevelgem, Belgium tel +32 (0)56 37.22.00 fax +32 (0)56 37.21.96 V.A.T. BE 0865.436.275


10 Conclusion
IP video based traffic monitoring and control implies a number of changes compared to analogue systems. It comes with an impact on many established domains and a number of new risks. Based on this information, here are a number of tips that may help you in avoiding the typical network video caveats:

1. Start in preparation phase by specifying and designing a global system approach rather than isolated components. 2. Take (even more) care in selecting good cameras. 3. A new kind of competence is needed and becoming more important: IT specialists. 4. Opt for established standards, partners and suppliers, rather than hypes with supplier-specific solutions to avoid interoperability issues. 5. Prepare a solid lifecycle management and maintenance plan.

Traficon, Vlamingstraat 19, B-8560 Wevelgem, Belgium tel +32 (0)56 37.22.00 fax +32 (0)56 37.21.96 V.A.T. BE 0865.436.275


Addendum: About Traficon

About Traficon
Based on technology developed by the University of Louvain in 1982, Traficon continuous research has resulted in powerful solutions for traffic applications. Today, Traficon is the leading reference in traffic detection based on video image processing. Traffic managers all over the world use our technology for vehicle detection, traffic data acquisition, automatic incident detection, and intersection control and management in motorway, tunnel, bridge and urban applications. As an ISO9001:2000 certified company, we strive to meet our customers' requirements and deliver reliable high quality solutions. We guarantee tailor-made solutions and experienced project support. Traficon headquarter is based in Belgium. Traficon has sales and support offices in the USA, France, Germany, China and Hong Kong.

History highlights: 1992: Foundation of Traficon n.v. by Mr. Jo Versavel. His mission is clear: to become the market leader in the field of video detection for traffic applications. 1993: The VIP (Video Image Processing) board comes into the world. This modular single processor board has to perform the basic tasks for handling the video, digitizing the video, analyzing the image and extracting the most important traffic data. The basic idea of the VIP is to keep video detection for traffic as simple as possible. Therefore it is designed to perform only the real needed tasks in standalone form. It can be programmed using only a simple keyboard and monitor. 1994: At the East Coast of the U.S, our partner Control Technologies starts promoting Traficon products. Together with our West Coast distributor (Kar-Gor), serious efforts are made to introduce the VIP detectors in the U.S. intersection market. Kar-Gor (Gordon Dale) develops the first interface unit that permits VIP3 to be plugged into a 170 controller. As of then, Traficon is ready to conquer the U.S. market 2000: New Traficon VIP Range: VIP/I, VIP/D, VIP/P. These new boards include brand-new hardware with faster processors and more memory on board. This new VIP range focuses on function and functionality with a more consistent grouping of functions within an application domain. Ease of use also remains primordial. 2003: Launching TrafiCam. 2004: Traficon wins 'Olympic Games 2004' contract. The Flemish Ministry hands out the prestigious award 'Lion of export 2003 ' to Traficon as best performer. 2008: Traficon always provides video detection technology with respect to Mother Earth. It extends its Traficam sensor range with a solar powered environmental-friendly version. 2009: Traficon launches of a brand-new intelligent pedestrian detection concept: SafeWalk. 2010: Traficon launches and installs its first network video based AID solution VIP-IP.

Traficon, Vlamingstraat 19, B-8560 Wevelgem, Belgium tel +32 (0)56 37.22.00 fax +32 (0)56 37.21.96 V.A.T. BE 0865.436.275


Company mission & objectives


Traficon shall, with its experience in the field of image processing and traffic, contribute to a more fluent and safer traffic. Traficon believes that a correct and creative application of new technologies will improve the quality of life.

Traficon also believes that a good cooperation and creative effort of all Traficon team members in full confidence will result in the best possible human (social) and economic results. Traficon wishes to conduct a policy of continual quality improvement

Traficon has more than 25 years of experience in the field of traffic vehicle detection. Traficon has more than 75,000 detectors operational worldwide. Traficon has installations in more than 400 tunnels. More than 600 km of tunnels worldwide are equipped with a Traficon system. Recent references include: Nefise-Akelik tunnel on the Bolaman-Persembe Highway (Turkey): Automatic Incident Detection Frjus Alpine Tunnel (France-Italy): automatic incident detection and digital recording Colorado Springs authorities (US): intersection management ITIS Kuala Lampur (Malaysia): Automatic incident detection & data collection Antwerp ring road: Automatic incident detection Paris region: Automatic incident detection on 1400 cameras in tunnels around the capital of France Newcastle new Tyne tunnel (United Kingdom): AID on over 70 IP cameras

Traficon, Vlamingstraat 19, B-8560 Wevelgem, Belgium tel +32 (0)56 37.22.00 fax +32 (0)56 37.21.96 V.A.T. BE 0865.436.275