Statewide highway video system for the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT), USA.

WisDOT Statewide video system – Road, USA

Statewide highway video system for the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT), USA.

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) are responsible for planning, building and maintaining Wisconsin’s network of state highways and interstate highway system. With a population of over 5,750,000, the department manages 11,753 miles of state highways and approximately 4,600 bridges.

WisDOT manages congestion and improves safety, efficiency and mobility on state highways. To achieve its aims, the department made their first traffic camera deployments in 1995, setting up most of the cameras on freeways and interstate highways. WisDOT also operate the State Traffic Operations Center (STOC), which creates a central 24/7 hub for managing statewide resources and communications.

Teleste started working with WisDOT in 2010. Over the years, Teleste has provided WisDOT with hardware as well as a video management system. In 2015, WisDOT deployed Teleste’s IP video management system, the S-VMX, including NVR for recording of all cameras. One of the essential features of the system is its scalability, which meets the client’s ongoing drive for continuous development and fulfils their evolving needs.

Customer need

The video system needs to support WisDOT’s operating environment, which includes:

  • Headquarters – 24/7 statewide resource & communications hub STOC (State Traffic Operations Center)
  • 400+ cameras
  • Temporary cameras for construction sites (feeds coming from radio to fiber)
  • 1,400 main line detectors & congestion maps
  • Public safety computer-aided dispatch (CAD) from three sheriff’s departments and the Wisconsin State Patrol (based in the STOC)
  • Weather information systems
  • 511 – phone & website
  • 85 dynamic message signs (DMS)
  • 196 portable changeable message signs (PCMS)
  • 14 stations with highway advisory radio (HAR)
  • Traffic media partnerships

WisDOT leads the state of Wisconsin’s Traffic Incident Management Enhancement (TIME) program. The comprehensive multi-agency, multi-discipline program was initiated in 1995. It aims to develop and implement the state’s Emergency Traffic Control and Scene Management Guidelines, including issues such as responder safety, costs of delays in fuel and time resources and reducing the likelihood of secondary crashes via quick clearance.

Solution to customer’s need

Teleste provided WisDOT with an end-to-end video management solution that offers all hardware and software, greater scalability and support for the large, growing system. Compared to the WisDOT’s previous solution, Teleste’s system also offered increased flexibility, more reliability and control, as well as superior quality of cameras and recording control software, which feature:

  • Encoders supporting both MPEG-2 and MPEG-4: The previous hardware encoders were MPEG-2 only, and MPEG-4 encoder was not available, which caused limited flexibility in the previous system.
  • Cameras are connected to MPX-E encoders, or in the case of our new high definition COHU helios cameras, have an embedded encoder. All multicast video traffic is transported via our statewide fibre optic ring. Network capacity is 10 Gbps.
  • SD video recordings as 4CIF MPEG-4, with a variable bit rate capped at 3000 bps, 30 FPS.
  • HD video recordings as H.264, 1280 x 720, max bitrate of 3,000 bps, 30 FPS.
  • Increased system reliability via encoders that are more stable than in the previous solution.
  • Greater control of video archives via extremely robust NVRs.
  • Enhanced capability to store video streams for further inspection via 64 terabytes of disk space dedicated to video storage and including 8 NVRs with 8 TB of storage each.
  • More scalability via increased capability to transcode video streams to websites compared to the previous solution.
Benefits achieved

Instantaneous benefits are achieved by control room staff regularly noticing areas of improvement and best practices in:

  • Communication with law enforcement
  • Faster confirmation and response
  • Ability of the control room to coordinate response efforts or assist with efforts (ramp gate closures, etc.) sooner
  • Verifying wrong-way driver alerts
  • Alerting the media to, e.g., notify the public about incidents of concern

CCTV recording has enhanced the operation of TIME:

  • Video clips can be used for TIME education and training, which increases safety by creating an invaluable asset to WisDOT and first responders, improving TIME techniques and increasing efficiency.
  • Saved video is used on a regular basis by WisDOT, as well as emergency responders, to review incidents and learn how to respond more efficiently (lessons learned, best practices, TIME meeting incident debriefs and Emergency Traffic Control and Scene Management Guidelines).

More than 60% of video requests to the system come from law enforcement. The system has enhanced capabilities to assist law enforcement in criminal cases:

  • Providing evidential information by recording the crime itself, or by enabling investigators to place vehicles or suspects at a specific time and location.
  • Providing capability to offload incidents and videos of interest to permanent storage for 120 days for further inspection.
  • After 120 days, stored material is deleted in accordance with the records retention policy.

According to WisDOT, benefits achieved by the video system outweigh the resource implications.