The AXIS 209FD-R, Axis's network camera specifically designed for use in transportation applications, has been installed by Axis partner PC-1 and Secure-IT on behalf of EST Buses based near Bridgend, South Wales.
PC-1 was approached to partner Secure-IT and installed a solution comprising three AXIS 209FD-R network cameras per bus operating on public routes between Cardiff and Llandow. As part of the solution one camera is installed looking out through the front windscreen to capture the driver's view, another camera covers the front door and driver's area, with the final camera installed to cover the length of the inside of the bus.
The AXIS 209FD-R is designed for use in transportation applications and has a flat design measuring just 4cm tall for discreet installation. The camera is vibration, humidity and dust resistant, offers progressive scan for clear, crisp images and also features Power over Ethernet (PoE) for simple power and data connection. Axis has achieved great success with this camera within the transportation sector including a recent order from Moscow Underground totaling over 3,000 Axis network video products.
Axis' rugged network cameras were combined with Secure-IT and PC-1's own specially designed digital video recorder (DVR) system, which created a solution to cope with the high levels of vibration and extremes of temperature on EST's buses. The DVR is the main stumbling block for most automotive applications but an arrangement for the supply of specialist hard disk drive units, together with some innovative software configuration has ensured that the units can cope with the harsh reality of transportation installations.
PC-1 has designed application-specific software applications for the transfer of images to the depot's central computer. When a bus reaches the depot, the driver can download all images, images relating to a specific day or just images linked to a specific incident via a wireless network.
Following the success of this initial implementation, EST Buses has now instructed Secure-IT to install Axis network cameras into a further six buses in its fleet. The company is investing in IP-surveillance to tackle a number of issues including the protection of their bus drivers from threats and violence through to monitoring fraudulent ‘trip and fall' insurance claims. Secure-IT is now in discussions with other leading bus operators in the UK.
Phil Doyle, managing director, Axis Communications (UK) Limited, commented: "EST Buses understood the benefits of using AXIS 209FD-R network cameras - this is a solution which was designed with transportation and the challenges of operating in such an environment in mind - the AXIS 209FD-R is a particularly discreet and rugged camera which delivers excellent image quality. Axis network cameras combined with Secure-IT's clever DVR system is a robust and proven solution for bus operators."
Carl Hookings, director, EST Buses Ltd, commented: "Having evaluated a number of traditional surveillance systems on the market, we concluded that in terms of image quality the Axis/PC-1 system was considerably better than anything we have seen. The ease of image retrieval and the discreet manner of the installation really is class leading.
"Fraudulent insurance claims were causing our premiums to rise sharply. Providing clear images of individuals involved in incidents really helps with the process of identification in these situations. Already we have seen this system diffuse a claim by a passenger who alleged that one of our bus drivers was being abusive. On seeing the video footage, the passenger accepted that the driver was not at fault and apologised."
Phil Popham, director, Secure-IT, commented: "Axis network cameras were our first choice for this install as the AXIS 209FD-R is designed for transportation - we have seen the image quality from analogue cameras installed in other bus systems and the results are poor images and a limited field of view. We look forward to capitalising on the interest we have received from other bus operators who have shown an interest in our solution."
Graham Thomas, head of product development, PC-1, commented: "The Axis 209FD-R shows what is possible from digital surveillance today. Along with our innovative DVR solution, the images from the Axis network cameras are excellent. Network cameras do not suffer the usual constraints of traditional analogue and the price of the cameras is now surprisingly close."