ONVIF, the global standardisation initiative for IP-based physical security products, announces that Highways England has adopted an ONVIF – centric open standards approach to video technology for the continued expansion and management of its national highway CCTV and traffic system. The use of an open, standards-based CCTV system allows the national transport organisation to support existing CCTV cameras while providing a pathway for adding new, ONVIF Profile S conformant cameras from a variety of different vendors to the system.

Highways England sought a standards-based approach for its CCTV and traffic system, which oversees motorways and major roads in England, in order to maximise the value of its bespoke CCTV cameras and to help keep tax payer-funded expenditures as low as possible. In addition to enabling continued control of existing CCTV assets and an incremental migration from legacy analogue to IP, a standards-based approach offers Highways England the ability to use new innovative CCTV technology as it appears in the general market. As part of the ONVIF-centric, open standards approach, Highways England will specify that any new cameras added to the CCTV system must be conformant to ONVIF Profile S, whilst recording shall conform to ONVIF Profile G.

Open standards for physical security

“Government entities and municipal councils are increasingly choosing to base their physical security infrastructure on open standards, like those established by ONVIF, in order to maintain a CCTV system that is vendor-neutral, flexible and future-proof,” said Jason Moss, Technical Director of Intelligent Transport for Mouchel, the consulting group assisting Highways England with its CCTV system. “This approach allows Highways England with help from its system integrator Costain to migrate to an open standards-based system incrementally as bespoke cameras reach their end of life and are replaced with ONVIF Profile S-conformant models from different vendors with use-appropriate feature sets.”

Highways England and two other major stakeholders are also joining forces with ONVIF to establish standard interfaces that can be used to allow users of their legacy and future CCTV systems to safely and securely access each other’s images. This will provide a truly open standards-based approach and provide flexibility in vendor selection to Highways England operations for the future.

Working closely with end user

“This collaboration with Highways England is a valuable one because we are given the opportunity to work closely with an end user who is solving a very real problem shared by many organisations – the need to modernise their CCTV infrastructure without replacing their entire system," said Per Björkdahl, Chair of the ONVIF Steering Committee. “An added benefit of the collaboration is that Costain has become an ONVIF member and will bring a valuable perspective to the work of ONVIF in the future.”

Founded in 2008, ONVIF is a leading and well-recognised industry forum driving interoperability for IP-based physical security products. The organisation has a global member base of established camera, video management system and access control companies and more than 7,000 Profile conformant products. With Profile S for streaming video; Profile G for recording and storage; Profile C for physical access control; Profile Q for improved out-of-the-box functionality and the Release Candidate Profile A for access control configuration, ONVIF continues to work with its members to expand the number of IP interoperability solutions ONVIF conformant products can provide.