The Municipal Transportation Company (Emt) Madrid has installed a video surveillance system shipped in its entire fleet of buses. This pioneering urban transport project significantly increases user safety thanks to the almost 9.000 cameras that, installed on board the 2.150 vehicles driving through the capital, allow for real-time monitoring, by transmitting images to an Alarm Receiving Plant of any incident or emergency that occurs inside the vehicles.
With the aim of improving the safety inside the buses of the Municipal Transport Company, Madrid City Council launched in February 2007 the Video Surveillance Project Embarked on Buses (See), which has involved the installation of 8.975 cameras in the almost 2.200 buses from the 216 existing lines, covering 3.600 kilometers and have 10.000 Stops. A service that transports annually to 425 millions of passengers and travels 100 millions of miles.
This project significantly increases safety inside vehicles in the event of any incident or emergency and thus benefits public transport users and EMT workers, increasing the quality of the drivers' job.
The implementation of the system has involved the incorporation of four video surveillance cameras for each EMT bus -six in articulated vehicles, larger-. Its mission is to record and continuously monitor high-resolution images in real time during the provision of the service so that, from various angles, cameras pick up minute by minute what's going on inside the vehicle.
Recorded images are stored on a hard drive installed on the bus itself and, if there is an incident, are unloaded at the operations center at the end of the vehicle's service. Only if there are any consideration incidents or a risk or alert situation, and always at the discretion of the driver, you can press a button that automatically transmits the recorded images, in real time, to the Alarm Receiving Plant (Cra) -managed by Segur Control, a security company authorized by the Directorate-General for State Security- that allows you to monitor the entire fleet through real-time video.
From that very moment on, Central analyzes the images and, depending on the cause of alarm, notifies competent operational centers - the National or Municipal Police or emergency services such as Samur, Civil Protection or Firefighters- so that an immediate and adequate response can be offered. While the images on the bus are recorded in half definition, when they move to Central they already go high, which gives them more quality and allows their police and judicial use for the identification of people. Each bus also includes GPS so it's easy to locate it at any time. Additionally, the system adds the possibility for passengers to access the Internet for free thanks to the installation of Wi-Fi access points on each bus.
It is important to note that this recording system meets all the requirements established by the legislation in this area. Like this, images recorded and stored inside the bus are kept for an approximate period of time 7 days and, after the same period, are eliminated. However, if the images have been recorded at the Alarm Reception Center, are kept for a maximum of one month, moment when they will be destroyed, unless they have been required by the police or the judicial authority. No audio-voice recorded- travelers; only the driver has a microphone through which he can communicate with the control unit if necessary.
The new system has a powerful deterrent or preventive effect and can also provide agility and greater efficiency in resolving health emergencies that occur on buses: falls as you go up or down, and even cases of heart attacks, nothing strange in a means of transport that transports a million and a half citizens every working day on average. Despite this intensive use, incidents that are recorded - with the intervention of safety devices and complaints or parts of injuries -, according to official data, they don't exceed 50 a year.
However, until the VEA project was launched, EMT did not have any active video surveillance systems on its buses, who were exposed to vandalism or actions against the safety of travellers and drivers. In the event of something happening it was very difficult to identify the person responsible for the incidents unless he was caught on the spot, which is difficult and didn't happen in most situations. That's why, it was decided to look for an on-board video surveillance solution that could help madrid's transport entity achieve its goals.
The Deputy Director of Technologies and Information Systems of the Municipal Transport Company, Enrique Diego, Explained: "For many months we evaluated different ways to efficiently monitor and track potential incidents that may occur on our buses. In addition, we were looking for a system that would allow us to make quick decisions about the actions to follow after an incident occurred. Based on our own experiences and conclusions and those of other similar projects we decided to bet on video surveillance".
When the EMT made public the call for the public competition of the video surveillance system received 13 proposals with solutions from different manufacturers and integrators. "For more than 6 months we install and evaluate 10 different video surveillance systems in 10 Bus. One of the criteria required was the ability to provide reliable access to images captured live by cameras within buses. It should also be possible to integrate the video surveillance system with other on-board systems and easily expand the solution to meet future requirements", Diego added.
A camera was sought with the ability to provide multiple video streams, at least 2, one of which was to be in H.264 image compression format, as they had to be sent via 3G to the EMT Alarm Receiving Plant. Following the evaluation process, EMT decided on the proposal of the Temporary Union of Companies (Ute) formed by Etra Group, Iecisa And Plettac, who presented a project based on network cameras and video encoders from Axis Communications, offering the availability of the H.264 format and the increased processor capacity of Axis products, ARTPEC, that in its version 3 allows you to provide multiple simultaneous video streams in different compression formats.
During the first half of 2009 technical and functional tests were carried out with the VEA system on a prototype vehicle equipped with cameras. Once these tests are completed,, in the second half of 2009 the system was implemented in thirty vehicles belonging to three lines, and since mid-20 2011 the network of surveillance cameras has already been installed throughout the EMT fleet -2.150 vehicles-.
Almost 9.000 installed cameras
Each standard bus is equipped with 4 video surveillance cameras. Video capture is intended from various angles of the vehicle, your local storage, image processing and various telecommunications interfaces with which you can view the interior compartment of the buses in real time and in deferred. The cameras are attached to the roof of the bus and are hardly noticeable, if you don't look closely.
Three of the four cameras are Axis M3113-R network cameras, Robust, compact and easy to install, providing high-resolution images and have been specially designed for use in ground passenger transport systems, designed to withstand the unfavourable on-board environment, including resistance to vibrations and temperature fluctuations and anti-manipulation alarm.
Bruno Azula, Head of Strategic Accounts at Swedish firm, pointed out that "Axis M3113-R provides SVGA resolution (800×600 Pixels), that offers enough detail to identify people or objects. Cameras can stream video at maximum frame rate in H.264 and Motion JPEG compression formats. H.264 compression optimizes bandwidth consumption (critical for 3G mobile communications) and storage requirements".
"Axis M3113-R includes a robust RJ-45 or M12 network connector. Respond very quickly to changes in light levels, and manage to get sharp images of moving objects by employing progressive scanning technology. They are designed so that they can be installed easily and reliably and also support the Power over Ethernet standard (that allows power to the cameras through the mains cable) a single cable is sufficient for the transmission of electric current and video and can be integrated with other devices and safety systems", added Azula.
• Specially designed for video surveillance on buses, Trains, subway cars and emergency vehicles
• Flat and robust design
• Progressive sweep and SVGA resolution
• Multiple H.264 and Motion JPEG sequences
• Fast and reliable installation
• Protection against dust and water
• Anti-tamper alarm active
At the request of the EMT, Axis carried out a mechanical redesign of the cameras, allowing the connecting cable to come out vertically instead of on one side. This detail is important as part of the bus cleaning services is done with pressure water. Vandal-free characteristics were also strengthened, water insulation and heat resistance. In addition, increased the fire resistance of the protective housings of the cameras. The Scandinavian manufacturer also developed a number of accessories that provide improvements in both the possibilities and simplicity of installation of the cameras, providing them with special adapters to be able to install them in curved areas of the bus, and created a help tool for camera focus.
The EMT's Deputy Director of Information Technologies and Systems has noted this: "For this project it has been very important to be able to have a camera provider like Axis Communications, who has proven to know how to be close to his clients. They have leveraged our previous experiences in onboard video surveillance and the characteristics of Madrid's public transport bus fleet to develop axis M3113-R network camera. This product adapts perfectly to the requirements and needs of our project and we believe that, given the similarities between urban bus transport systems, can fit properly into most of the video surveillance solutions that can be carried out in any city in Spain and around the world".
As far as the fourth camera is concerned, the one that's installed right behind the driver, it was decided that it would incorporate audio capabilities. For this reason it was considered that it was best to be an analog camera and that a video encoder with audio capabilities was included so that it converted analog images and audio into digital format and could be incorporated into the system. Analog camera provides greater light sensitivity in darker scenarios.
The model chosen was the DDF3000APV Picodome camera Dallmeier for built-in assembly, with transparent bubble and high-resolution monofocal lens. The DDF3000APV is a very small and compact minidome with a diameter of only 94 Mm., vandal protection and ultra-wide dynamic range. The camera integrates perfectly into the existing architecture of the bus and is discreetly installed recessed in the roof, painted in white, so the white arc of the Picodome fits perfectly. However, small size and compact construction are not the only advantages: thanks to the technology Cam_inPIX, Picodome provides sharp images with high contrast and color fidelity even under the toughest light conditions.
• Horizontal resolution: 540 TV lines
• 1/3" DPS image sensor with Cam_inPIX
• Digital Pixel System Chipset
• Digital processing of signals 17 Bit
• High luminous sensitivity to F1.4, 50Ire: 1,0 Lux
• Image capture: progressive sweep
• Image transmission: progressive with segmented frames (Psf)
• Lens coating with IR cutting layers
• Advanced noise reduction
• Optimizing image quality through numerous control functions, like AWB, Agc, BLC and advanced slow shutter
• Monofocal lens to F1.4/ f-3.6mm
• Setup via UTC commands
• Compact, vandal-protected housing with IP66
• PPL (Push, point and lock for easy orientation)
• Verified according to DIN EN 50130-4
This camera communicates with an Axis Q7401 encoder, a high-performance single-channel solution that integrates an analog camera into an IP-based video surveillance system. Thanks to its video processing capabilities, Axis Q7401 delivers superior video quality and saves on bandwidth and storage.
Axis Q7401 offers high-efficiency H.264 video compression system, dramatically reduces bandwidth and storage requirements without affecting image quality. For greater flexibility, also supports Motion JPEG. Axis Q7401 can provide multiple simultaneous and individually configurable video streams at maximum frame rate at all resolutions, up to D1 (720 X 480 pixels in NTSC, 720 X 576 pixels in PAL). This means that the various video streams can be configured with different compression formats, resolutions and frame rate as needed.
The video encoder also allows users to adjust image parameters such as contrast, brightness and saturation to improve images before coding is done.
Axis Q7401 includes smart features such as enhanced motion detection, active manipulation alarm and sound detection. External encoder inputs and outputs can be connected to devices such as sensors and relays, allowing the system to react to alarms and, For example, activate lights or open/close doors.
Power over Ethernet support (IEEE802.3af) allows the unit and analog camera to which it is connected to receive power using the same cable used for data transmission. This makes it easy to install, because there doesn't need to be a power outlet nearby. Also, Axis Q7401 features two-way sound and an SD/SDHC memory card slot for local storage.
Madrid's new EMT bus video surveillance system has not only helped reduce incident response costs. It has also provided the EMT with an effective security tool to prevent possible crimes and investigate incidents in this transport network. "On-board video surveillance is allowing us to identify the people who cause the incidents and the evidence of any criminal action is recorded and can be used as a compelling factor in legal action. We estimate that the annual costs associated with vandalism and the elimination of graffiti represent 600.000 Us $, a figure that we hope will be significantly reduced. At the same time we believe that keeping our buses safe means that we attract more passengers and increase their level of satisfaction with the service we provide", Enrique Diego has concluded.
Municipal Transport Company (Emt) Madrid
U.T.E. See (Etra Group, Iecisa and Plettac)
Axis Communications and Dallmeier
Axis M3113-R and Dallmeier DDF3000APV cameras and Axis Q7401 encoder
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