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Texas Department of Transportation's New Traffic Management Facility Keeps Traffic Flowing

 Traditionally, the solution to resolving traffic congestion has been to construct more freeways and highways. But funds for highway expansion are limited, constraining the ability of states to mitigate increasing traffic and congestion problems. Rather than building the way out of these problems, better management of the existing system is necessary. To accomplish this, the Texas Department of Transportation (DOT) has developed a new methodology, called the Intelligent Transportation System (ITS). ITS integrates innovative traffic monitoring technology with inter-agency coordination to provide a seamless transportation network. The core of the ITS system is Texas DOT's new Daltrans traffic management facility which applies advanced electronics and communication technologies to enhance surface transportation systems.

The Texas DOT contracted with national audio visual integrator CCS Presentation Systems to design and install advanced A/V equipment for the new Daltrans facility. Kim Ott, Systems Sales Engineer for CCS Presentation System's Dallas office, directed the project design and implementation. Ms. Ott described the project and its mission, "The Daltrans Intelligent Transportation System required real time acquisition, dissemination, and display of multiple video sources onto one centralized viewing area. RGB Spectrum's 4View™ multi-image display processors are the backbone of the ITS collection and communication system design. The processors provide Daltrans personnel with live views of correlated information to improve their situational awareness, assessment capability, and response effectiveness."

Ott continued, "ITS traffic management deals with various types of congestion: non-recurring congestion caused by stalled cars, flat tires, and traffic crashes which delay traffic and recurring congestion at locations that do not meet the demand of high numbers of vehicles. The Daltrans facility's fifteen 4View processors are an essential component in providing personnel with a real-time picture of what is happening from multiple visual sources, enabling Daltrans personnel to enhancing traffic flow and manage congestion more effectively."

The 4View processors support composite, S-Video, and component video inputs. They receive live feeds from remote surveillance CCTV cameras placed throughout the Dallas areas freeway system, local television broadcasts, a DVD player, and DirecTV broadcasts. These are combined as multi-window images and fed to an array of display systems, incuding five Panasonic PTD5700U rear-screen LCD projectors joined together to create a massive display wall, Viewsonic VP 2130b LCD displays at each of the eight monitoring stations, a Mitsubishi 42-inch LCD display in an adjacent viewing room for the local Media, and a Samsung 65-inch LCD display in the facility's lobby.

"The 4View processors' multi-image visuals allow personnel to identify the exact location and severity of incidents, execute response, provide accurate information to other motorists, and assist in dispatching services to render aid to disabled vehicles. The processors' versatile image display capability is very popular with the Daltrans personnel. They can instantly change display arrangements on the main viewing screen, from four window quad configurations to full screen for any image and switch sources between traffic cameras and TV broadcasts. The processor's pan and zoom capability affords more in-depth analysis for operators."

CCS Presentation system programmed a variety of customized 4View display configurations that Daltrans personnel can execute from a touch screen control panel. The display windows on each screen can be any size, anywhere on screen with colored borders and labels to assist in image delineation. Unlike traditional video quad processors that display each video signal at 25% of true resolution, the 4View displays all four video inputs at full resolution on a screen up to 1600 x 1200 pixels. The improvement in visual quality is dramatic. 4View's advanced artifact free motion rendering makes it the ideal solution for applications such as traffic management.

Ott concluded, "The multi-image display wall has become an invaluable monitoring tool, enabling operators to maintain comprehensive vigilance and improve safety and security. The 4View processors perform well with excellent image quality and versatile image processing, providing all of the display capability that Daltrans wanted. The result of Daltrans impressive new display system is dramatic cost savings versus building new infrastructure while improving traffic flow, traffic capacity, safety, and air quality.

For more information on the Texas Department of Transportation's Dallas-Fort Worth Daltrans facility, call 214-320-6100 or 817-370-6500, or visit www.daltrans.org.

CCS Presentation Systems Inc. CCS Presentation Systems, Inc. is one of the world's largest dealers of presentation technology equipment and services. With offices throughout America, CCS provides audio visual technology solutions to the Corporate, Education, Government and Non-Profit markets. For more information, call 972-458-1081 or visit www.ccsprojects.com.

RGB Spectrum® is a leading designer and manufacturer of videographic and multimedia hardware subsystems. Products include the View™ family of video windowing systems, the RGB/Videolink® line of scan converters, The Linx® DVI Matrix Switcher, the DGy™ digital recording system, Quadra® universal scaler and synchronizer, SynchroMaster® keyers and overlayers and ComputerWall® and MediaWall® multi-screen display controllers. RGB Spectrum is based in Alameda, California, and can be reached at 510-814-7000 and on the internet at http://www.rgb.com.