2012 IR&D Annual Report

Traffic Management Center Video Distribution System, 10-R8256

Principal Investigators
Robert W. Heller
Roger Strain

Inclusive Dates:  09/12/11 – 01/12/12

Background — A primary function of Transportation Management Centers (TMC) is the "detection and management" of transportation events using Advanced Traffic Management Software (ATMS). The presence of traffic measurement equipment aides in the detection, but all detected and reported events are visually confirmed with the use of roadside video cameras. Typically the roadside video is transported in digital format to the TMC and displayed on large video monitors covering the majority of a wall. Operators in small TMCs without video walls use non-integrated solutions to monitor the video. This project sought to integrate the display of video into the TMC operator's desktop.

Approach — A market survey of digital video decoding products was conducted using a list of required capabilities, which included video formats, transport mechanisms, bandwidth capabilities, installation requirements, etc. The product survey identified Video LAN Client (VLC), an open source project, as best fitting the deployment requirements. The Florida Department of Transportation SunGuide ATMS was used as a demonstration platform.

Accomplishments — The original goals of the effort were met; several small application programs were written to control the transcoding of video streams into viewer friendly formats using open source video transcoding and commonly installed viewer applications. Specifically:

  • A VLC and open-source software product was used to transcode the video.
  • The user could select a video to be displayed from a list of cameras.
  • The IE Plug-in for Windows® Media Player was used as a video viewer.
  • Video from cameras configured in a manner consistent with existing FDOT field cameras was viewable on the workstation.
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Southwest Research Institute® (SwRI®), headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, is a multidisciplinary, independent, nonprofit, applied engineering and physical sciences research and development organization with 10 technical divisions.
04/15/14