From monitoring to managing – critical control of transport networks
Operational 24/7, the Motorway Traffic Control Centre receives multiple live data feeds from Dublin’s road and tunnel network. A vast 15 metre long NEC videowall provides operators with instant access to information as they maintain safe and efficient traffic management.
Operated by Egis Road & Tunnel Operation Ireland (ERTO), the Motorway Traffic Control Centre (MTCC) is responsible for the safe and efficient management of the national motorway network and Ireland’s tunnels. Located near the Port Tunnel entrance in Dublin, the control centre monitors and manages over 65 million vehicle journeys a year. The centre operates several services, including variable message signs to motorists, emergency road telephones, advanced traffic management systems, as well as monitoring Dublin city centre traffic.
Dublin’s Port Tunnel which opened in 2006 was conceived in order to relieve traffic congestion suffered by Dublin city centre, by diverting HGVs from the Dublin Port directly onto the motorway network. Handling two-thirds of Ireland’s seaport trade by value, Dublin is an incredibly important and busy port, fully operational 24/7. The control room facilities was first upgraded by Digicom in 2011, when Digicom installed a 4×2 NEC videowall to provide the screen estate needed to monitor traffic passing through the Dublin tunnel.
Today, with a €60 million investment from Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII), a new state of the art control centre in Dublin’s docklands is commissioned to take the safety of Dublin’s road network into the future. Now also incorporating coverage of the M50, the most heavily used road in the country carrying nearly 145,000 vehicles daily, the MTCC monitors and manages the entire Dublin road and tunnel network, future proofed for ever increasing usage. Digicom was chosen to upgrade its control room facilities in line with its wider and more complex remit.
Thought to be the largest video wall of its kind in Europe, standing 3 metres high, and 15 metres wide, the 4.2-million pixel video wall comprising 52 x NEC MultiSync® UN551S displays, receives multiple data feeds coming from every inch of Dublin’s traffic routes.
“People in this room are getting information from incident detectors in the road, automatic number-plate recognition systems, emergency response telephones, CCTVs and weather stations, among others,” says Andrew O’Sullivan, senior operations manager for TII network projects. “We are able to measure the level of surface water and wind speed, close lanes and reduce speed depending on what we see here.”
The integration of NEC displays driven by the Hiperwall content management system provides a highly flexible solution for managing multiple and varied data sources. Capable of expanding to welcome unlimited input sources and any number of output displays, Hiperwall is incredibly versatile. As an IP-based solution there are no physical controllers requiring space-consuming racking equipment; Hiperwall is seamless and endlessly adaptable to changing needs, without additional hardware.
As the ambient light within the control room changes throughout the day and night, the brightness of the video wall automatically adjusts accordingly to provide just the right level for eye-pleasing readability.
The 52 x 55” MultiSync® UN551S ultra-narrow bezel displays configure to create a videowall 13 screens wide by 4 high, with only the smallest image gap at just 1.8mm.
Designed for operation within harsh environments, the unique NEC heat management system was an important feature, since heat-build up can be a major concern for large video walls. The robust metal cabinet also supports efficient heat dissipation.
An additional 2 x 2 MultiSync® UN551S video wall is located in a separate incident room with the same access to all data feeds as the larger overview videowall.
The upgraded system marks a transition from monitoring roads to actively managing them. By monitoring incoming data, the purpose of the control centre is to get information back out to road users to help them travel safely. Cutting speeds and reducing congestion is the ultimate objective, ensuring motorists complete their journey without incident.
The visualisation and manipulation of data afforded by the vast videowall system means operators are able to continuously monitor the road network, controlling the efficiency of traffic through-put and anticipating and responding to incidents immediately. Receiving data from every inch of the road network, Dublin’s road users can travel safely in the knowledge that help is at hand should it be required.
“This was an exciting and challenging project to be part of, with a high level of collaboration and coordination required by all parties. We are delighted to have once again delivered a tailored AV solution on budget, on time and as per ERTO’s expectations” explains Peter Fox, Digicom CEO.