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Failure-free Operation for road incident detection

The South-African Huguenot tunnel is another textbook example of how Traficon video image processing technology is built to last.

At the start of the new millennium, the existing inductive loop detection system in the Huguenot toll tunnel was replaced by a videobased Automatic Incident Detection (AID) system with VIP23 and VIP41 modules from Traficon. The system has been working faultlessly ever since.

A few words from the protagonists in this success story lead to believe that the video detection system is ready for at least another 10 years of worry-free operation.

The Huguenot tunnel is a two lane carriageway of 3913 meters, in which there is two-way, left side driving traffic. The main control centre is 6 km from the nearest end of the tunnel (Western portal, Capetown). Some 13 cameras with AID functionality monitor the busy traffic flow inside the tunnel.

Christo Van der Linde, technical manager at the Huguenot tunnel speaks highly of Traficon technology. Before 2000, induction loops were installed to perform traffic counting. However, their functionality was limited. “We also wanted to detect and report on incidents, wrong-way drivers, stopped or slowly moving vehicles. Video detection proved to be the ideal technology for the job,” Mr. Van de Linde comments.

“At the time of installation, video detection was new to us, but training from Traficon people convinced us of the reliability of this technology. The video detection system has been working faultlessly ever since.”

“The system has proved its use over the years. Among the 12000 vehicles we monitor on a daily basis, we frequently detect broken down or stopped vehicles and thanks to the visual verification in the control room offered by the Traficon system, we can quickly take the appropriate measures,” comments Mr. Van de Linde.

Peter Bullock, ITSE engineering consultant for the Huguenot Tunnel project confirms this: “Since the video detection system’s installation, two tunnel fires have occurred in the Huguenot Tunnel, both of which have been detected in time to take appropriate security measures.”

“The system does an excellent job for incident detection, stopped or slowly moving vehicle detection, wrong-way driver detection and vehicle counting,” Mr. Van de Linde explains. “Based on the failure-free operation during all those years, we expect the system to serve us well for at least another ten years.”

Peter Bullock further comments: “The system hardly needs maintenance, but when it does, Traficon is ready to provide valuable support. This has been the case for example, when the almost 10-year old software system needed an upgrade. It is good to know that Traficon has not forgotten the Huguenot Tunnel, even many years after the installation of its video detection system.”

“Based on the failure-free operation during all those years, we expect the system to serve us well for at least another ten years.” Christo Van der Linde says.

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