Citilog's CEO Eric Toffin
Making existing traffic cameras more intelligent is the aim of a new product from Citilog. The company, which has been part of the Swedish camera specialist Axis Communications group for the past 18 months, is showing the latest variant of its system that implants new apps into existing traffic cameras to give them greater utility.
“Let’s say a city has a network of cameras for general purpose video surveillance,” said Citilog’s CEO Eric Toffin. “They just need to install the app into the camera to turn it into a traffic counter or incident spotter, such as a stopped vehicle or a wrong-way vehicle.”
The app can also be used to turn a standard camera into a remote enforcement version, to detect infringements such as motorists straying into a bus lane.
The latest versions of the app-enabled camera are being shown here for the first time and are about to be deployed in a number of locations in the Paris area.
The Greater Paris Project will see a huge number of public transport facilities, such as new subway lines and systems to prevent gridlocks at intersections, being installed over the next 10
years, said Toffin.
“We use the [existing] cameras and put in the app to detect pregridlock situations. If you see a vehicle standing in the middle of an intersection, perhaps for one to three seconds, that’s enough of a hint to know that there’s a 90% chance of gridlock within the next five to six seconds.” The app can be used to trigger a change in the traffic light sequence to ease the problem.
“Gridlock is like a fire. In the first second, you need just a drop of water to put it out; in 10 seconds, you need a glass. In a city like Paris, London or Montreal, if you’re not quick, it’s hell.”