When an incident occurs in a road tunnel, it is important that the traffic manager can see immediately what is going on. The control system of the cameras in the Dutch Benelux Tunnel, the VideoManager, ensures that the cameras automatically turn to the place of the incident. The images they provide are immediately visible on screens in the control room.
Fast information for the traffic manager
Short response times are crucial when incidents occur in a tunnel. Therefore, a network of sensors constantly monitor the traffic situation. Overheight detectors measure the height of heavy goods vehicles, smoke detectors monitor smoke development, and loops in the road surface keep an eye on traffic speed. As soon as one of the sensors issues an alarm signal, VideoManager ensures that the traffic manager can access camera images of the sensor location within a few seconds.
Operation from several locations
The Benelux Tunnel has its own control room. This is only used during incidents and major maintenance works. At all other times, the tunnel is operated from the traffic control room in Rhoon. The tunnel’s own control room is equipped with different hardware for image display. The new VideoManager and the cameras operate via IP, which means that the operating system can communicate simultaneously with both locations. New locations can easily be added.
The interface between technical installations and the operating systems was strictly protected during the development of the VideoManager. The system has been constructed in a modular way, with independent modules for the entire tunnel complex and for the individual tunnel tubes. In the case of the Benelux Tunnel, there are six tubes, four for vehicular traffic and two for cyclists and pedestrians. Each tunnel tube has its own configuration list that includes the sensors, the cameras and the corresponding PTZ values (Pan, Tilt, Zoom). Thanks to its modular architecture, the VideoManager can be implemented in other tunnels without any software changes.
The VideoManager in the Benelux Tunnel was developed as part of a project to replace industrial automation in tunnels operated by the Dutch state. The transition to the new system occurred without a glitch, and to the satisfaction of all parties involved. In due course the VideoManager will be implemented in eight other Dutch state-operated tunnels: the Drecht Tunnel, the Noord Tunnel, the two Heinenoord Tunnels, the Sijtwende Tunnels, the Wijker Tunnel, and the Schiphol Tunnel.