Camera systems

Camera systems

Description of the system

The description of camera systems was  published as a part of the article: Integration of camera systems into vehicle informatics. This article contains a detailed description of the workings of the system and of the possibilities of integrating it into an on-board system.

The system is arranged in such a way that it can form an independent Ethernet network in a vehicle. This configuration is applicable especially when there are more cameras in a vehicle, then the camera data traffic does not burden busbar traffic meant for controlling the information and checking system. This advantage stands out mainly when cameras with real time data transfers are used (reversing cameras, trolley wire cameras, etc.).

The current system configuration makes it possible to:

  • monitor what is happening in the vehicle,
  • monitor what is happening during boarding  – the cameras monitor the space outside of the vehicle and turn on only when the doors open,
  • monitor what is happening behind the vehicle – the camera activates when the vehicle is put into reverse. In this case the camera works in the real time mode (picture delay is minimized).
  • monitor what is happening in front of the vehicle
  • monitor the state of putting the trolley on the trolley wire – the camera activates automatically when this system is activated.

This system can be used as an all-purpose vehicle camera system including camera recordings when the cameras are active and it is not necessary to combine it with other systems.

Pic. no. 1: Arrangement of the busbar of the camera system in public transportation vehicles.

Composition of the camera system

The offered camera systems consist of:

  • Recording units with hard drives (HDD or SSD) that can include an LCD for displaying e.g. the state of the door space –   VCS 156 and VCS 104; units without LCDs designed to record events in vehicles – type VCS 000 that does not include any LCD.
  • Interconnecting Ethernet busbar switches ECU 08P2 that includes PoE with output power +48V for powering cameras directly via an Ethernet busbar.
  • Vehicle cameras (the type is not mentioned as the camera type is always chosen based on customer wishes and production time of camera types is limited). Cameras are configured individually based on the demands on the display delay (e.g. reversing cameras, trolley wire cameras, etc.)
  • ETH accessories –  included are e.g. a camera busbar power supply converter from type B to type A in accordance with IEEE 802.3af. It is suitable for powering cameras monitoring the space in front of the vehicle („crash“ cameras).
  • Connection to the vehicle – the system allows for either independent connection to a vehicle by enough one-bit inputs and outputs or comfortable control via on-board computers EPIS 4.0x. It also has ready inputs from e.g. the reverse gear which allows for switching the display to the „monitoring the space behind the vehicle“ mode.

Pic. no. 2: Demonstration of simultaneous display on a recording LCD – type VCS 156 from four cameras.

Installation into a vehicle

Installation of the camera system in a vehicle:

Pic. no. 3: Installation of camera systems in a public transportation vehicle (coupled tram).

SW recording management – videoclient

The VideoClient program reads encrypted videos from the vehicle camera system, deciphers and plays them. Access is only granted after entering a password.

  • Reading recordings – after logging in the Videoclient program, the user chooses the IP address of the camera system from which they want to read videos. After connecting to the chosen system, basic information about the state of the system and a list of cameras are displayed. When a camera is chosen, a list of recordings made by that camera is displayed. The list is ordered based by days and hours. The user can choose and download encrypted recordings on their PC. When downloading, the user can create an incident where all the recordings will be ordered or they can add the recordings to an existing incident. All accesses to the camera system are logged.

Pic. no. 4: Basic application window

  • Watching downloaded videos – the user chooses from created incidents. When an incident is chosen a list of videos listed in that incident is displayed. Videos are ordered by cameras and for individual cameras videos are ordered by days and hours. The user can watch videos from four cameras at the same time. While watching videos from multiple cameras the user can control each of them separately or they can control them all at once. Encrypted videos are decrypted for viewing and after the viewing they are deleted.

Pic. no. 5: Window for playing and viewing videos.

  • Exporting and deleting video recordings – video recordings can be exported in the MP4 format. Downloaded recordings can be deleted by stopping the incident.