Management & Operations

A METRO Guide to Video Surveillance Systems

Posted on February 1, 2005

REI Inc.

The BUS-WATCH¨ system’s standard operating speed is “real-time” or 30 frames per second, resulting in “TV Quality” video. What this means to the end-user is a video document that has nothing missing, rather than a video that is so choppy and grainy that identification and evaluation are difficult. Drivers can “tag” events for retrieval later. This feature defaults the frame rate to real-time for clear audio and video. “Logistically, getting the information off the bus is the biggest challenge in this market,” says Dan Gruber, transit account executive for REI. “Removable hard drives have made this procedure more efficient.” BUS-WATCH systems are fully cutomizable, with several camera configurations available. In addition to the day and date time stamp, REI systems can record bus speed, brakes, turn signal use, and other programmable sensor data.

Meister Electronics

Meister Video Security
Tampa, Fla.-based Meister Electronics specializes in closed circuit television installations (CCTV) for transportation applications. In particular, the company has years of experience developing CCTV products for railcars. “Rail transit presents very unique electrical and mechanical challenges for CCTV applications,” says Chuck Badgley, managing director of sales and marketing. Meister’s VSS-06 and VSS-08 digital video recorders were designed to withstand harsh rail transit environments. For rail applications, these models are manufactured to be mountable in American Association of Railroads-standard 19-inch racks.

Safety Vision

The RailRecorder is Safety Vision’s train-based answer to the company’s popular RoadRecorder video surveillance line for buses. One unique quality of the system is that data files are protected with an encryption method. This prevents anyone from tampering with audio or video, allowing unimpeachable evidence in issues pertaining to liability. Consistent performance and easily retrievable video and audio files are the most important needs of a transit agency seeking a video surveillance system, says Account Executive Archie Doyle. “The most important benefit of [our system] is efficiency. Data files can be swiftly retrieved by removing our compact hard drive. Then, simply insert another drive and the vehicle is ready to return to service.” Multiple mounting options inside and outside the vehicle, combined with protected information, help ensure a reliable system.

GE Infrastructure, Security

The MobileView is designed for buses, light rail cars and other fleet vehicles. GE recently delivered its 10,000th unit of MobileView, which offers strength in programmability, data transfer and storage options. Says Rick Gougeon, director of mobile solutions, the future of video surveillance itself is in video compression changes that will lead to faster download speeds with better image quality. When a driver starts a vehicle equipped with MobileView, the digital recorder automatically begins storing images from all cameras. MobileView includes impact sensors and driver-activated hot buttons that switch recording to event mode, which tags images for easy recall later. When you need to review recordings, you can download them to a laptop onsite or remove the recorder and plug it into a docking station back at the office.

Innovonics Ltd.

Innovonics is a relatively new player in the North American mobile video surveillance industry. Based in Victoria, Australia, Innovonics supplies digital video recording products to both rail and bus systems, focusing primarily on high-end technology and software applications. “The unique perspective of their more than two decades of European and Australian work — and the fact that Europe and Australia are ahead of the U.S. in the transportation video surveillance arena — puts them in a great position,” says Steve Mangione, a public relations representative for the company.

Honeywell Video Systems

Digital Chaperone DDR400
Designed for transit applications, the DDR400 is available with an optional GPS module that records vehicle location, geographic direction and speed data, along with related video and audio information. It also features wireless network capabilities, allowing surveillance footage to be reviewed via a Wi-Fi network. “Honeywell understands that mobile surveillance is crucial to keeping U.S. transportation systems safe and secure,” says Brian Curliss, product line manager for Honeywell. “We want features like GPS and wireless capabilities to ensure safety for transit systems that use the Digital Chaperone.” The DDR400 also offers a unique camera feature called the D52 with a rotating gimbal that allows more range and flexibility. Curliss says it Òeliminates the need to mount multiple cameras.”


ClaimSafe III
A multi-camera video security system, the ClaimSafe has resulted in insurance cost reductions of as much as two-thirds for agencies that have installed it. A built-in heater keeps the unit warm and operational in cold environments.

March Networks

5308 MDVR
March Networks’ 5308 Mobile DVR system offers transit operators a number of key features, including extended operating temperature range, removable high-capacity internal storage with multiple hard-drive sizes, optional wireless video streaming and synchronization of video with GPS vehicle location and speed data. The 5308 system focuses on four main areas: extensive wireless networking capabilities; reliability; ease of installation and maintenance; and performance.

Apollo Video Technology

Road Runner MR4
Built especially for mobile applications, Apollo Video’s Road Runner is SAE and mil-spec rated for toughness and offers a three-year warranty. Recording up to 120 images per second, the system has high playback quality, offers three easy methods for off-loading video and is compatible with wireless networks and GPS technology.

Verint Systems Inc.

RP 12000 Series
The RP 12000 series ensures secure access to recordings with LAN or GPS connections, and intuitive management software enables authorized personnel to access data. The system has motion detection capability, inputs for up to 12 cameras and multiple image export options.
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