The author proposes 5 tools offered by VMS, as a technological approach to road mobility management.
By Mauricio Swain*
Vehicular traffic congestion, especially in large cities, is an increasingly visible reality in Latin America. According to the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), the growth of this phenomenon is due to the increase in the purchasing power of the middle class, greater access to credit and the relative reduction in sales prices, together with the scarce application of structured urban transport policies, which implies the challenge of designing measures that contribute to its moderation and more effective control.
Traffic congestion is clearly detrimental to the quality of life of citizens, as people waste time stuck in traffic; According to a study by Statista in 2021, the cities that lose the most hours on average per year in the region are Bogotá with 94, followed by Monterrey with 70, Mexico City 67, Quito 63 and Belo Horizonte 58.
Well, there is a very convenient solution to reduce the negative rates of mobility and that probably most cities already have the tools to implement it: video surveillance.
Traffic management in cities through a VMS
Cities usually have video surveillance cameras on the main roads and areas of greater concurrence. The images captured by these devices are sent to servers to be analyzed by a video management software (VMS).
It is through these management platforms that intelligent video analysis based on data comes to life, thanks to the quality of information that they subtract from the thousands of hours analyzed and that they send to the authorities to make informed decisions and respond adequately and in time to multiple road situations.
Currently, there are VMS designed to support large-scale and highly complex solutions, capable of efficiently managing the data provided from a single interface and integrating a wide range of third-party devices for analysis, which favors search times and detailed accuracy of information.
Likewise, these systems have advanced video cleaning features and encryption capabilities to reduce storage costs, while having the freedom to adapt and scale solutions as the particular needs of each city evolve.
Among the main functions and features offered by video management platforms for proper mobility management, you can find these five tools:
License plate recognition
Optimizing or eliminating manual vehicle search processes on the roads is a feature offered by license plate recognition (LPR) technology. This advanced video search tool is able to provide fast and accurate evidence to authorities in case of car accidents or thefts, offering a video thumbnail of the recognized vehicle, a close-up of the license plate and details about the detection time or the route on the streets.
Traffic flow analysis
Video analytics substantially improve road systems by revealing patterns and trends. The video and sensor data that is generated provides city authorities with valuable information on how they can improve mobility at both the micro and macro levels, through automatic notifications related to the identification of abandoned, reversed and stopped vehicles at intersections or in restricted areas.
Similarly, data-driven video technology helps lessen the challenge of finding parking spots in highly congested cities. License plate recognition allows automated access to parking facilities, while controlling capacity. The result is less stress and fewer cars clogging city streets.
Acceleration of investigations
When an incident occurs, video management software allows you to condense and filter hours of images to resolve it quickly. The tracking and control functions not only help in investigations, but also allow virtual monitoring of vehicles, objects and people, if necessary.
Route optimization and planning
With these technologies it is also possible to reduce time, costs and environmental impact within cities, by identifying better routes and parameters for the mobility of cargo operations. Advanced algorithms provide significant improvements to operational efficiency across the entire spectrum of the sector, enabling effective surveillance and efficient operation.
Vicente López, an example to follow
To cite an example of the implementation of these video technologies to improve vehicular traffic, we can look at the case of Vicente López, Argentina. In this city, traffic management plays an important role, not only in the quality of life of its inhabitants, but of the vast majority of Argentines because one of the main roads of the country crosses the municipality.
After an audit of their safety net and finding that they had multiple disparate systems without centralized video management, the city embarked on a project to upgrade their system by implementing a single open platform VMS, installing more cameras, and a host of data-driven video analytics technologies.
Beyond safety, this technology is used in speed checking to detect streets with high congestion, vehicles stopped at intersections and in restricted areas, vehicles driving in the wrong direction on one-way streets, and more.
Similarly, mobility operators now take full advantage of these functions to provide fast and accurate evidence to authorities in case of car accidents and monitor pedestrian traffic at critical points in public space, this allows the city to make informed decisions about road safety and optimize physical infrastructure such as traffic lights, among others.
In summary, with an open platform VMS it is possible to monitor roads and vehicles in real time to track their movement, trends and even traffic violations, including speeding or potential risks for drivers.
This is how the adoption of these technologies helps authorities and road safety managers to address the problems of large cities and prepare for future challenges. Highly flexible, data-driven video management systems enable cities to become smart: proactive, efficient and secure.
* Mauricio Swain, Sales Director of Milestone Systems for Latin America.