Silent Sentinel - Silent Sentinel's Oculus cameras behind Smart Cars’ success

Silent Sentinel's Oculus cameras behind Smart Cars’ success

Surveillance systems specialist Silent Sentinel has helped security systems integrator Clearview Communications to equip its new range of Smart Cars, which are now being used to help enforce parking restrictions, bus lane use and road traffic contraventions.

Surveillance systems specialist Silent Sentinel has helped security systems integrator Clearview Communications to equip its new range of Smart Cars, which are now being used to help enforce parking restrictions, bus lane use and road traffic contraventions.

The vehicles, which are increasingly deployed by local traffic authorities and parking enforcement agencies, use Silent Sentinel’s high speed day/night Oculus PTZ camera to target known hot spots, road safety problems and congestion areas. The cars are intended to combat a wide range of road safety issues including bus lane and box junction infringement, school drop zone chaos, rat runs, as well as use of mobile phones whilst driving.

Silent Sentinel’s ‘ruggedised’ Oculus camera is sealed to IP67 and designed for installation in harsh and challenging environments, making it an ideal surveillance tool for the Smart Cars. Because the vehicles are distinctively marked, they provide a reminder to motorists not to take a chance by parking where they should not. This includes dangerous parking, particularly around schools, pedestrian crossings and at busy junctions, contraventions on yellow lines and vehicles contravening waiting and loading restrictions.

The Smart Cars also improve pedestrian safety and reduce traffic accidents and congestion. Their use results in a reduction in challenges to penalty charge notices (PCNs) and provides indisputable evidence that a contravention has occurred, with proof that the enforcement operation was carried out correctly and fairly. Additionally, they increase civil enforcement officers’ and parking attendants’ safety because drivers know they could easily be spotted on camera if they act abusively.

The vehicle’s Oculus camera is cast from aluminium, hard anodised and powder coated to protect it from scratching, oxidation or attack from solvents, making it vandal resistant. The replaceable front glass window is toughened to take substantial impacts from thrown objects and resist ballistic attacks and has a wiper to quickly clear dirt and water. It’s easy to install, simple to set and provides excellent picture quality up to 520 TVL resolution, as well as an impressive 36x maximum optical zoom capability.

Each car has a pan/tilt/zoom camera mounted to a hydraulic periscope that extends up to 3 metres above roof level. Inside the cabin are a mini joystick controller and mobile high performance digital recorder. Images can be viewed and downloaded within the vehicle, or the recorder can be removed quickly and easily for further interrogation. Ignition control power management, low power consumption and voltage monitoring ensures the CCTV system does not compromise vehicle battery life.