Keeping London moving
A sophisticated video management system, controlling over 5000 TfL and stakeholder cameras, helps smooth the flow of traffic in one of Europe’s busiest cities.
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Transport for London
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Digital technology solutions - digital assets
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System developed in 2011. Sole maintenance of service since March 2015.
Fast and efficient decision making
TfL is taking bold action to reduce congestion and improve London’s poor air quality. In delivering the Mayor’s ambitious plans for 80 per cent of all journeys to be made by public transport, walking or cycling by 2041, TfL’s plans will further help tackle congestion across London.
To help TfL support the Mayor’s ambitious plans, our technology experts developed Irides, a video management system (VMS), that would help TfL to successfully migrate from an end of life system to an IP based digital system in time for the London 2012 Olympics. This allowed TfL to manage the traffic flow along the ‘Olympic Lanes’ enabling London to cope with an extra three million journeys predicted per day. The solution provided visibility to the whole of London’s streets and tunnels via cameras viewed, controlled and operated within TfL’s operations centre. This allowed TfL operators to be aware of traffic, pedestrian activity, planned and unplanned events and enabled them to manage more effectively the flow of traffic and people throughout London. Images from the system were also available via a ‘jamcam’ website enabling TfL customers to view traffic conditions live. The technology solution is still being used today and Costain has been the sole maintenance provider for the VMS since 2015.
The VMS is highly scalable, and configurable to meet TfL’s changing needs. It allows for over 800 TfL employees to monitor traffic throughout London from over 300 workstations (both inside and outside the TfL offices). It controls over 1200 TfL cameras located throughout London’s streets and tunnels and it allows for indirect access through system to system sharing links which our team manage and maintain. This means TfL can view and control over 5000 cameras across England – 2500 of which belong to Highways England. Other partners include the Metropolitan Police and the local London boroughs who are able to share camera images and control with TfL via the VMS.
The advent of camera sharing and easier accessibility of partner cameras, has eliminated the need to have a police camera and local borough camera located a short distance away from a TfL camera. All three stakeholders can share sight and control over one single camera saving on installation and maintenance costs. The scalability of the systems also allows for extra cameras to be added with ease to quickly increase coverage as required - an important requirement for a city which is constantly growing.
This service contract is a ‘collaborative service’ which means when there are availability issues and the service is down, all the key stakeholders and subcontractors take a ‘hands on deck’ approach and work together to resolve the issue. This is a new type of service contract that is incredibly beneficial to the client and removes split liability, requiring all parties to work together for the quickest and best solution.