As streets and highways become more congested, traffic engineers and planners continue to look for better ways to improve traffic flow within the existing infrastructure and road system.
Video surveillance cameras have grown in popularity and use as an effective tool for traffic control and management. Video cameras can provide real time, full-motion feedback as traffic problems develop, whether at a city intersection or on a major freeway. New Power over Ethernet (PoE) models add simplicity and convenience.
Traditionally, serial communications lines have been employed to transmit traffic control signals. However, live video, as part of an intelligent transportation system (ITS), requires a transmission bandwidth up to 100 times greater than the standard serial links. Furthermore, the video signal often must be transmitted over a distance of several miles, usually to a central traffic operations centre (TOC). Fibre optic cabling is the preferred medium to carry the video signal, since fibre optic cabling has a very large bandwidth and is immune to magnetic interference.
The combination of high bandwidth demand along with fibre cabling has resulted in the emergence of Ethernet as the protocol of choice for traffic control, video surveillance systems, and other outdoor applications. Ethernet’s virtually unlimited bandwidth, ruggedness, scalability, and inexpensive systems components make it a natural for the new generation of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS).
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