Standalone systems and nonintegrated platforms are still widely used in the china highways, which were built in the early-stage investment stage in China. During this stage completing the highway construction for operation as early as possible was the primary objective. At this time, national highways were commonly segmented and managed by different provincial governments, or highway owners, who had build different highways over different periods of time. Some highways are still using analog video surveillance systems, standalone tolling systems and communication systems that lack a platform to consolidate all useful real time data from the highway. All the subsystems work independently and are managed by different groups, which has an impact on the operation cost and efficient operation of the highways.
The rapid growth of traffic volume paired with the mobility of vehicles cannot has China poised for a much-needed restructuring of its ITS systems. From an operation and technical point of view, the standalone systems, analogue video surveillance systems, tolling systems, monitoring, and management systems cannot fulfill the needs of the future development of China’s national highway system. The “three standalone systems”, are using an independent platform, data format, and management application, from which useful data cannot be shared. China needs a common intelligent platform so that data can be shared, searched, and processed, which will give a faster and better response for the road users and operators. This limits the development and future expansion of the highway system in China. The latest ITS products, such as IP video surveillance cameras and systems, fiber network transmission equipment, automatic tolling systems, monitoring, and management solutions are the future trend of China’s highway systems.
The national highway network platform consists of three highway systems: province, area, and local. Each highway system has different standalone subsystems. The highway authority and operators have operation needs to integrate all of the subsystems into a common platform. This platform should be open, modular, scalable, and reliable. This future platform will not only obtain information from the road and weather condition detection systems, but also share the data among the three parties. The platform will also be used to respond and dispatch information to road users in the case of a traffic jam, or accident.
Based on above requirements, the highway system requires not only an IP video surveillance system, a fast optical fiber network and transmission backbone, and an intelligent traffic and incident management system, but also a system which provides real time traffic monitoring and fast responses to operators for accidents, or traffic jams. Thus, the highway monitoring center can measure the traffic flow and take further steps such as displaying the message in a message board, informing the road uses and drivers, or adjusting the traffic light signal to adjust the traffic flow if need.
The network video surveillance system is a must for a new highway video surveillance system, or a replacement for the existing analogue camera system. The success of an integrated highway platform depends on the tools, which will be provided by the subsystems vendors. The highway system integrators will need to take special care to deal with the new and latent subsystems, which may have different platforms, and interfaces, which were built over different periods of time. Many network video surveillance systems and camera manufacturers provide user friendly SDK, and a list of sample source code to the integrator in order to reduce the barrier of using their ITS products. Some common ITS applications such as license plate numbers recognition and video image detection are also widely integrated into highway IP video surveillance systems.