|The company ultimately decided to deploy 250 Sony SNC-CH110 IP cameras
USS – a Japanese car auction company – was looking at systems that would guide drive-in members to free spaces in the parking area. They were also looking for a system to maintain security. The company ultimately decided to deploy Sony’s SNC-CH110 network cameras. The SNC-CH110’s auto-exposure adjustment capability delivers a consistent wide-angle image even when there is backlighting in the field, allowing each camera to cover four parking spaces. The deployed cameras were successfully linked with the parking-area control system, enabling smooth guidance to free parking spots. The resulting images are also effective in maintaining security.
USS runs regular used-car auctions at 17 auction sites throughout Japan. Members unable to come to a site may participate via Internet or satellite.
Every Friday, approximately 1000 members arrive at the USS Nagoya site to participate in the site’s weekly auction. As most of these members drive to the site, the company wanted to install a system that would identify free parking spaces, display the relevant information to arriving drivers, and guide these drivers to free spaces using guidance lamps or similar means. The conventional approach to identifying free spaces is by means of a sensor system, with a separate sensor installed at each space. USS felt, however, that the cost of installing 1000 sensors would be prohibitive. So they were looking for an alternative approach
The company ultimately decided to deploy 250 Sony SNC-CH110 IP cameras. Because these cameras deliver a wide-angle view, each camera can effectively monitor four spaces. Each camera takes a shot once every 10 seconds; the images are continuously analyzed to identify free spaces in the area. The resulting data are transmitted to a car guidance system, which displays the relevant information on an electronic board, and controls driver guide lamps accordingly. The installed system delivers effective guidance to free spaces.
Members who arrive in cars that they are putting up for auction will occasionally park in the general parking area – rather than in the separate area specifically set up for this purpose – and leave their car behind when returning home. With the current system, each driver presents an IC card when entering the area, and the system records both the card number and the car’s license plate number. With the new cameras in place, it is now a simple matter to identify and contact owners of cars that have been left behind —correcting a longstanding problem of cars left for long periods of time.
Why Sony was selected
When USS was considering methods for identifying free spaces, it was suggested that analysis of images obtained from a security and monitoring system could be used in place of conventional sensors. Use of the SNC-CH110 network camera was a promising alternative—the wide-angle view from each camera could cover four spaces, and the required wiring would be significantly reduced. Further investigation confirmed that the cameras could be deployed at much lower cost than sensors.
In addition, the use of a security and monitoring system was deemed essential for capturing evidence that could be used in cases of accidents, which occur with relative frequency in parking areas. It became clear that a very efficient solution would be to use a single camera system to deliver both the security functions and the sensor functions.
Many cameras currently on the market, however, are not sufficiently effective for these tasks: they may fail to provide good imaging under backlit conditions, or fail to provide sufficiently high-quality images, or break down too easily or too often. Sony’s product, however, is extremely durable, and delivers bright and clear imaging even under adverse conditions.