Q&A topXview™ Complete ITS Platform Learning Center

What is the difference between Safety Procedures, Scenarios, Response Plans and Automatic Reactions?

Safety Procedures – a set of rules describing how the system and the operator should react in case of an incident (“system closes the tunnel from the both end”, “the operator alarms the police”etc.).

Response Plans – a list of reactions to a traffic event on highway, bridge or in the tunnel (“set 40 km/h speed limit on the Variable Message Sign VMS32”, “turn the V2 fan on”, “set the traffic light to red”etc.).

Scenario – process of executing the procedures from the moment the event was triggered, until the event ends and the system returns to the original state.

Scenarios – a set of scenarios organized by priority.

More about Telegra’s topXview Scenario Management can be found here.

Platform vs Integration – what is it, what are the differences?

Platform is an environment that enables implementation of Traffic Management Systems. The platform contains tools and elements needed to build Traffic Management System of various sizes and needs (Road/Tunnel/Bridge/City). Based on it one can build a system that monitor single bridge with two barriers and traffic light or a system that operates a city.

Integration is a process of bringing the different subsystems together into one system, ensuring all the subsystems function together as a single unified system. Integration, in terms of traffic management systems, is the key in achieving safer, more fluent and cost effective roads and tunnels. More precisely, integration as a concept is implemented through number of platform (in our case topXview™) software modules with different roles, some of which are interfaces towards various subsystems like traffic counters, tunnel ventilation, or traffic lights deployed on the intersections, some are made for interaction with operator (i.e. GUI) or even road users (i.e. public information web service) and some are using those possibilities to connect it together in a single system.

(Road/Tunnel/Bridge/City) Traffic Management System is platform-based specific system that operates, manages and controls traffic on a certain road, in a specific tunnel or city or even a region, state or country.

There are so many CCTV cameras deployed. I can’t watch all of them simultaneously!

True. Often control centers manage road sections or tunnels with hundreds of cameras deployed. It is impossible to keep track of all of them simultaneously. Certain progress could be made by automatic sequences or/and salvos (i.e. video streams from a set of cameras that covers particular section of the tunnel are alternating in sequence so in a certain period of time the operator is able to “check” complete tunnel)the video-based automatic incident detection system and various other incident detection techniques (see more here) that should be a part of the same integrated system to create safer environment. Once an incident occurs, video from relevant CCTV cameras is presented on the alarm monitors and the area of interest is focused in topXview™ GUI.

Do I really need an ability to expand or edit the system on my own?

Initial configuration and setup is typically done by Telegra engineers, hence the answer depends on your expectations for future system upgrades. If you expect frequent updates it might be handy to have some of the tools from Telegra’s topXview™ Designer Suite.

What is needed to integrate the third party subsystems?

The answer depends on the specific project and subsystem mentioned, but in general:

  • Information about 3rd party interfaces
  • Samples or certified simulators of 3rd party equipment in order to test and verify the interface
  • Proper functioning of the subsystems that need to be integrated

What kind of protocols for field devices and other systems does topXview™ support?

  • NTCIP C2F set [Including DMS (Dynamic Message Sign), ESS (Environmental Sensor Station), TSS (Transportation Sensor System), DCM Devices (Data Collection and Monitoring), CCTV (Close Circuit Television) Camera Control],
  • MODBUS
  • Datex 2,
  • TLS
  • MODBUS
  • OPC
  • SNMP
  • XML
  • Different proprietary protocols for vast number of devices, ranging from video walls to emergency road telephones, to old video matrixes

Which operating systems is the platform available on?

Recommended operating system on servers and workstations are as follows:

  • topXview™ Traffic Control Server, Database Server, Network Video Recorder and all other servers – Windows Server 2012
  • Workstations – Windows 7 Professional x64 edition

Different operating systems can be used, depending on the specific system implementation.

Please contact us for details.

Does integration really save money – are there any studies?

Yes. Here are few results of applicable studies:

  • Savings of up to 19.9% when integrating incident management, freeway management and arterial traffic control systems (*Evaluation of 9  projects in San Antonio)….
  • Integrated management system reduced average roadway clearance by 11% first year upon introduction (*Miami-Dade Traffic Incident Management System)
  • Delay reduction of improved integrated incident management in Houston area saved up to $8,440,000 annualy!*
  • In Amsterdam, integrated system reduced the overall accident rate by 23 %, serious accident rate by 35 % and secondary accident rate by 46 %.
  • Providing information on arterials as well as freeways in a traveler information system reduced vehicle-hours of delay by 3.4% and reduced the total number of stops by 5.5 %. (simulation study for road network around Seattle, Washington)

www.itsknowledgeresources.its.dot.gov

How do you ensure time synchronization between the components?

Time is synchronized across topXview™ platform using NTP protocol (UDP 123). Master clock reference is obtained from dedicated NTP server installed in OMC. NTP Server serves as the local clock reference to all servers, client workstations and network devices.

What are the possible pitfalls of using inexperienced integrator?

One of the aspects is integrator’s commitment to successfully, not only implement the project, but ensure its longevity and related to that two phenomena might occur:

Unfinished projects

Contractor might claim it has “finished” the contract, but the system performance is below customer expectations due to:

  • Contractor’s lack of design and operation expertise
  • Contractor’s lack of integration expertise
  • Poor return on investment - expensive systems are deployed but there are no improvement in traffic operations

Finish & Vanish projects

Customer is unable to improve or expand the system during operation because:

  • There is no Contractor’s support - Contractor is not locally present
  • Contractor is not devoted to the to the customer needs during system operation

How does true integration implementation impact operational and maintenances costs of the system?

Some of the examples of how true integration might influence operational and maintenance costs are:

  • Unified operation of many subsystems requires minimal manpower needed to operate the system (most often a single operator per shift is sufficient)
  • Minimizing the time the road/tunnel is non-operational has direct (i.e. toll income) or indirect (i.e. avoiding long closures that bring unwanted public attention) positive impact on operator’s/concessionaire’s income. Some of the ways down time can be minimized are:
    • Redundant & modular design - malfunction of one of the subsystems does not influence any other subsystems;
    • Early warning of traffic incidents – reduces the chances of multiple secondary incidents on the road;
    • Fast, unambiguous and reliable reaction in case of incidents, etc.

Creating safer traffic environment (detours in case of accident, info on traffic conditions ahead etc.). Less accidents means less expenses.

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