The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is making its traffic camera images available to first responders so they can have access to real-time images when responding to emergencies.
"First responders want to see what our eyes are seeing through the 75 traffic cameras located along major interstates in Northern Virginia," said Kevin Barron, VDOT's program manager for intelligent transportation systems. "The streaming video system allows police, fire and rescue personnel to see what we see in our Smart Traffic Center in Arlington."
With the new Video Distribution System (VDS), first responders will be able to access real-time information released on a secure network within their facilities.
While VDOT has traffic cameras available for viewing over the agency's website, these images are slightly behind real-time, in which the online picture refreshes at a rate of 1.5 frames per second. The streaming video images now available to first responders refresh at 20 to 30 frames per second, providing a real-time image of roadway conditions and emergencies in Northern Virginia.
TrafficLand Inc., the private company that hosts the video images from VDOT's Northern Virginia traffic cameras, installed high-speed encoders in the 75 cameras. They are distributing the video imagery to subscribing regional and transit agencies, as well as to local, state and federal public safety, emergency management and homeland security agencies.
VDOT's Northern Virginia traffic cameras are located on I-66, I-95 and I-395. Within the next year, images from VDOT's traffic cameras in Hampton Roads and the Richmond area will be outfitted with the high-speed encoders and also will be made available to first responders.