NZTA: Traffic Operations Centre

About

In April 2010, the NZ Transport Agency officially opened a new traffic operations centre in Auckland to enable better management of traffic volumes and to keep drivers informed about conditions on New Zealand’s State Highway network and Auckland’s motorways and local roads.

The Traffic Operations Centre, based at the Smales Farm Technology Park at Takapuna, replaces a previous facility beside the Northern Motorway (SH1) near the Stafford Road off-ramp at Northcote.

Having outgrown its old operations centre, the new centre brought Auckland into line with cities of a similar size overseas. 

The centre operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year. More than 200 closed circuit cameras transmit live images into the control room for operators who monitor traffic flows, manage roadway incidents and adjust the region’s 700 sets of traffic signals. The centre also provides information for traffic updates for radio and the web, and roadside and motorway electronic messages.

Project Objectives

The Video Wall installed in the Traffic Control room is the single largest installation of its kind in Australasia and uses revolutionary video wall image processing technology, a first in New Zealand, to achieve the most advanced installation of its kind in the region.

The Video Wall solution is made up of two main technologies; the video wall image processing hard and software called PixelNet manufactured by Jupiter Systems and the Video wall displays, Margay II manufactured by Planar. Both manufacturers are US based and are global leaders in control and command environments where guaranteed 24/7 operation is required.

Image Processing

PixelNet is a revolutionary new way to capture, distribute, control and display digital and analog video sources. Based on technology previously used for data communication networks, PixelNet adopts Gigabit Ethernet and Ethernet switches for use with high resolution, real-time video. Using packet-switching technology any information source can be shown on any display, as a window on a single display, or as a window spanning multiple display devices in a display wall. Any source can be shown at any size on any display or array of displays. 

PixelNet is all about scalability. The same component parts can scale from a single input distributed to a single output to literally hundreds of inputs and outputs. Outputs can be defined as a single display or logically grouped together to create one or more display walls. All of this power and flexibility is managed by Jupiter’s PixelNet Domain Control software, which provides an intuitive, object-oriented, drag-and-drop interface to control and manage multiple inputs, outputs and display walls. Applications that would traditionally require many separate vendors and a heterogeneous solution can be addressed with a single system of interconnected PixelNet nodes controlled through the PixelNet Domain Control software.

Video Wall Display

The newly developed Planar Margay II is a 50” full high definition rear projection cube manufactured specifically for control room video wall environments. The Margay II’s remarkable engineering means that between adjoining cubes there is only 0.7 mm gap, giving virtually seamless images spanning multiple displays.

The TOC video wall is made up of 36 displays arranged in wall, 12 units wide by 3 units high, at the front of the new TOC control room, making the video wall images 13.2m wide x 1.86m high and taking up 24.8 sqm. To assist with the viewing of the entire video wall from any location in the room the video wall is curved, with each column of screens set at 1 degree increments from the next.

"The Video Wall solution for NZTA has been our most challenging and satisfying project to date. Being able to be involved in such a high profile one of a kind project and be the first integrators of this technology in New Zealand is a real honour for VideoPro. The project wasn’t without its challenges, the main of which being the tight project delivery deadlines, applying a constant pressure on development and progress of the integration and installation. We’re proud of the finished video wall solution leaving NZTA with a control room that will lead the way and set the standard for traffic management suites globally" Jake Male, System Integration, VideoPro NZ Ltd