Highways England to deploy ONVIF-standards based CCTV systems

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Highways England (HE) has adopted an ONVIF-centric open standards approach to video technology for the continued expansion and management of its national highway CCTV and traffic system.

Founded in 2008, ONVIF (Open Network Video Interface Forum) is the leading global standardization initiative for IP-based physical security products, with a global member base of established camera, video management system, and access control companies. The use of an open-standards based CCTV system allows England’s national transport organization to support existing CCTV cameras while providing a pathway for adding new, ONVIF Profile S conformant cameras from a variety of vendors to the system.

The agency sought an open-standards based approach for its CCTV and traffic system, which oversees motorways and major roads in England, in order to maximize the value of its bespoke CCTV cameras and to help keep taxpayer-funded expenditures as low as possible.

In addition to enabling continued control of existing CCTV assets, and an incremental migration from legacy analog to IP, an open-standards based approach offers HE the ability to use new CCTV technology as it appears in the general market. As part of the ONVIF-centric, open-standards approach, HE will specify that any new cameras added to the CCTV system must be conformant with ONVIF Profile S, while recording shall conform to Profile G. HE and two other major stakeholders are also joining forces with ONVIF to establish standard interfaces that can be used to allow users of their legacy and future CCTV systems to safely and securely access each other’s images. This will provide a truly open-standards based approach and provide flexibility in vendor selection for future HE operations.

“Government entities and municipal councils are increasingly choosing to base their physical security infrastructure on open standards, like those established by ONVIF, to maintain a CCTV system that is vendor-neutral, flexible and future proof,” said Jason Moss, technical director of intelligent transport at Mouchel, the consultancy assisting HE with its CCTV system. “This approach allows Highways England, with help from its system integrator Costain, to migrate to an open-standards based system incrementally as bespoke cameras reach their end of life and are replaced with ONVIF Profile S-conformant models from various vendors with use-appropriate feature sets.”

ONVIF’s Per Björkdahl, added, “This collaboration is valuable, because we are given the opportunity to work with an end user who needs to modernize its CCTV infrastructure without replacing the entire system,” 

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International magazine and the Traffic Technology Today website since he joined the company in May 2014. Prior to this he worked on some of the UK's leading consumer magazine titles including Men's Health and Glamour, beginning his career in journalism in 1997 after graduating with a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).

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