E. Anthony Incorvati
Articles by E. Anthony Incorvati
Security technologies are used in a wide variety of locations and environments in the transportation vertical Transportation is among the more diverse markets within the security industry, consisting of multiple non-homogeneous segments and some varied sub-segments, too. Transportation means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. Typically, the transportation vertical includes any entities responsible for moving people and goods – that would encompass public transport systems, airports, seaports and intelligent traffic systems (ITS), just to name a few. Security technologies are used in a wide variety of locations and environments in the transportation vertical. Among public transit applications alone, there are almost countless locations, including stations, yards, depots, administrative offices, and the vehicles themselves – each has its own variety of security system applications and challenges. Airports are their own separate world, with indoor and outdoor applications, in secured or public areas. Outdoor applications at airports must address security challenges at the perimeter, on the runways, in parking and drop-off areas. Interior security applications include access control doors, technology used at the TSA checkpoint, cameras almost anywhere. “When we say transportation, the key thing is the wide variety of different applications,” says Anthony Incorvati, business development manager, critical infrastructure and transportation, Axis Communications. For a company like Axis with a broad product line, the diversity of the transportation market offers almost endless ways to use its cameras in a variety of unique and challenging ways. Axis and other manufacturers seek to align their products to address all the different and varying requirements within the transportation segment. A specific need might mean purpose-built cameras that can withstand the shock and vibration of being installed on-board a moving vehicle. Or it might mean a camera to provide clear images in low-light or back-lit situations. Legacy technology with inefficient video offload processes and poor image quality compound operational inefficiencies and can impact the safety and security of transit personnel and the public Possibilities within the transportation vertical are rich. Technology can be used in train stations, airport terminals, seaports to cover a wide range of activity. Video analytics can be used for operations (collecting data), used to measure traffic flow, count vehicles. In the intelligent traffic systems/departments of transportation (ITS/DOT) market, vehicle counting provides data to inform planners to alter roadways, adjust traffic flow, design signals. “The ITS/DOT market is a growing market, but it is one of the sub-segments within transportation that has been holding onto analog video the longest,” says Incorvati. “But we are seeing a shift happening now. A lot more IP cameras are going into toll roads and turnpikes, used for monitoring traffic and toll booths.” Today’s public transportation agencies are experiencing growing pains they haven’t seen in decades, says Steve Cruz, strategic transit solutions manager, Panasonic System Communications Company of North America. As ridership has increased, so have security and operational issues. Many struggle with aging mobile surveillance systems and have not kept pace with migration from analog to IP-based systems. Legacy technology with inefficient video offload processes and poor image quality compound operational inefficiencies and can impact the safety and security of transit personnel and the public, he notes. The need for security never decreases. Mass transit systems continue to be a target for common criminals. With increased ridership comes a growing number of crimes committed on public transit. As a result, advanced security and surveillance technologies, such as HD and Full HD cameras that can capture crystal clear images day or night, are critical tools that can be used as indisputable evidence for accident and liability investigations and in the courtroom in the event of a crime, says Cruz. While video surveillance solutions are increasingly a staple for transit agencies, many are underutilising digital signage technology, according to Panasonic. Digital signage can be used on cars, trains and platforms to deliver information in real-time and provide useful communication with passengers. This can include interactive maps that help riders navigate the system and other important information such as system delays or emergency alerts, says Panasonic. A more across-the-board system approach can simplify security systems for transportation customers, according to March Networks, which uses the same interface and management (enterprise) software to cover both onboard and wayside systems. For multi-modal, rail, light rail, street car, bus and para-transit operations, the same system also covers shelters, platforms and transportation centers. “We do it under the same umbrella command,” says Rob Schwaber, product manager, mobile/transit products, March Networks. “There is a lot of commonality.” “This is absolutely a growing market, based on the interest we have seen and the customers we have talked to,” says Dan Cremins, director, product line management, March Networks. “There is a real need for solutions, both in North America and globally.”
AXIS P3905-RE is an outdoor-ready camera addition to the family of compact, rugged and discreet cameras of the AXIS P39-R Network Camera Series. They are all specially designed for onboard video surveillance in or on buses, trains, subway cars and emergency vehicles. Axis Communications, the global leader in network video surveillance, announces the outdoor-ready AXIS P3905-RE Network Camera as the latest addition to the AXIS P39-R Network Camera Series. It is designed to be mounted on the exterior of a vehicle, increasing safety onboard and simplifying incident investigations. For example, the camera can be used for rearview surveillance alongside the vehicle outer surface, down mounted over a door or as a forward-facing camera. AXIS P3905-RE has passed the demanding IP69K tests and can withstand tough conditions such as vibrations, shocks, bumps and temperature fluctuations, as well as normal vehicle maintenance like washing. The cameras also feature an active tampering alarm function for the detection of tampering attempts such as blocking or spray-painting. “Demand for onboard cameras continues to rise as end users find more and more uses and functions beyond safety and security, such as reducing liability and increasing efficiency. Axis has pioneered commercial off-the-shelf onboard IP cameras, launching its 3rd generation of purpose-built cameras in 2014 with the AXIS P39-R Network Camera Series. AXIS P3905-RE is a natural extension of the series, providing end users with an outdoor-ready model with HDTV resolution and edge storage for demanding customer requirements,” said Anthony Incorvati, business development manager, transportation and critical infrastructure, Axis Communications, Inc. “It comes ready in a rugged outdoor housing and offers a cost-efficient and reliable installation ideal for buses, trains, trucks and emergency vehicles.” AXIS P3905-RE comes with a 6 mm lens that provides a 55° horizontal field of view optimized for the typical use of surveillance alongside a vehicle. If a wider field of view is required, the housing also allows customers to change to a 3.6 mm lens offering an 87° horizontal field of view. The new outdoor housing is offered as a separate accessory to AXIS P3904-R and AXIS P3905-R that comes with the 3.6 mm lens at delivery. AXIS P3905-RE supports Axis’ Corridor Format, which provides a vertically-oriented view ideal for monitoring roads, tracks and platforms. All AXIS P39-R cameras are available with either a male RJ45 connector or a rugged M12 connector. The cameras provide a pixel counter for verifying that the pixel resolution of an object meets specific requirements.
The ability to clearly see facial features and other identifying characteristics on each passenger greatly enhances security Some of the video technology used in the transportation vertical is purpose-built, but the wide range of applications and environments is conducive to a variety of general-purpose technology, too. Leading IP camera makers like Axis, Sony and Panasonic have introduced new products to enhance safety and security of travel in trains, buses or other public transport systems.Axis Communications network solution for transportation Among Axis Communications products designed specifically for the transportation vertical are a third generation of its IP camera (Model P39-R) that is purpose-built for the onboard environment (trains, buses). The new product incorporates the latest technology approaches to ensure superior images in low-light and back-lit conditions. The camera complies with standards required of products installed in rail vehicles, including the EN 50155 standard for electronic equipment. However, cameras from Axis’ general product line also make their way into the transportation vertical. For example, the Q35 is a newly launched fixed dome that includes next generation of wide dynamic range technology to improve forensic capture of video; Axis Lightfinder technology ensures low-light viewing, and the camera auto-transitions into and out of low-light mode. Intelligence inside the Q35 and other new video cameras, courtesy of the next-generation processing chip, essentially turns cameras into “computers with lenses,” says Anthony Incorvati, business development manager, critical infrastructure and transportation, Axis. More processing power enables cameras to adapt to low-light conditions but also provides a platform for analytics and other intelligent functions, such as people counting, license plate recognition, alerts about stranded vehicles, etc. Axis has an open platform that enables third-party developers to create new applications to sit on the edge (inside the camera). Incorvati says that intelligence is currently underutilised. “There’s a platform there for growth; it’s not just a dumb camera. I look at the iPhone as a comparison. Seven years ago, in its early days, there weren’t many apps and people didn’t know. That’s where we are today with IP cameras, and where it’s going.” More processing power enables cameras to adapt to low-light conditions but also provides a platform for analytics and other intelligent functions, such as people counting, license plate recognition and alerts about stranded vehicles IP surveillance solutions from Sony Sony’s X Series of IP cameras – models SNC-XM632, SNS-XM636 and SNC-XM637 – are rated for use on board buses and trains; ultra-wide-angle lenses can cover the tight spaces inside a bus or train. All of the X Series cameras are vandal-resistant (IK10 rated), rated for outdoor use, deliver full 1080p high-definition video, utilize image stabilisation technology and feature 90dB of wide dynamic range to help improve video quality in harsh lighting conditions. They also feature a built-in microphone, and SD card support provides camera-level storage and redundancy for in-vehicle recording systems. Sony’s IP cameras are used in many mass-transit systems around the country, including major international airports, light rail and bus systems. Sony’s IP cameras are used to secure transit stations and facilities, and several operators are in the pilot phase for onboard IP surveillance solutions. Sony’s IP cameras contain the same image sensors found in the company’s broadcast cameras for movies and television. These sensors provide greater resolution at higher speeds. Sony’s sensors are combined with the company’s various image-enhancement technologies, allowing users to capture clear and bright video in even the most challenging environments. This is particularly important for the transportation industry because many cameras are installed in areas where lighting conditions change drastically in the span of a single day. The ability to clearly see facial features and other identifying characteristics on each passenger greatly enhances security. In addition, high image quality also means that video analytic software can run with a greater level of accuracy, reducing false alarms.Panasonic HD surveillance i-PRO Transit Solution Panasonic’s announced i-PRO Transit Solution is designed to equip transit agencies with the tools they need to address security and operational challenges. Panasonic works to design systems that fit within a customer’s budget while taking advantage of the latest technologies to address security needs. Ruggedised surveillance cameras deliver full HD video with exceptional clarity even in difficult lighting conditions. The system can quickly and wirelessly off-load flagged video files associated with specific incidents from the in-vehicle video recorder, thus eliminating manual tasks and resulting in time and cost savings. The i-PRO Transit Solution is providing public transportation systems with enhanced mobility, situational awareness and the security they require.
Better, faster networking plays into the optimistic outlook for the transportation vertical Our market has plenty of reasons to be optimistic about the future of security systems in the transportation vertical. “Given the advances in processing power and technology, we can only imagine what the capability of an IP camera will be in five years,” comments Anthony Incorvati, business development manager, critical infrastructure and transportation, Axis Communications. “Think about the smart phone you were holding in your hand five years ago, versus now, versus five years from now. It’s the same with IP cameras – the technology is moving that fast.” Better, faster networking also plays into the optimistic outlook. In the future, 4G communication capabilities will expand (and data costs decrease). At some point, it will make economic sense to capture continuous, real-time video streaming from moving buses and trains, says Rob Schwaber, product manager, mobile/transit products, March Networks. “We can do that today in a limited fashion,” he Schwaber says. “But it’s not cost-effective for a large fleet. For a large fleet to have functionality all the time, there’s a lot of bandwidth and costs, but those technologies are getting better and cheaper.” Panasonic foresees video analytics and facial recognition tools playing an increasingly important role in security solutions for transit security. The ability to identify persons of interest, known criminals, or disgruntled employees may help to alert staff to flagged individuals who might be of concern. These capabilities, in combination with high-definition cameras, can be used to capture important details like distinguishing features of a suspect that would not have been possible with previous generation technology. The market is growing, too. As ridership continues to grow, so will security incidents, making integrated, comprehensive security solutions an integral part of the purchasing decisions a transit agency must make to provide the safety and security required for passengers and transit employees. "Technology will need to accommodate growing ridership and be able to stay ahead of criminal tactics and threats to provide the best possible solution" It is important to look at the growing rate of commuters and travelers using public transportation and how this is going to impact existing and future security solutions, says Steve Cruz, strategic transit solutions manager, Panasonic System Communications Company of North America. “Technology will need to accommodate growing ridership and be able to stay ahead of criminal tactics and threats to provide the best possible solution,” he says. According to HID Global, the next big things for access control in the transportation vertical are (a) interoperability; (b) adaptability; and (c) simplicity in how identities are created, used and managed across many different applications. These are critical benefits for transportation system operators who must stay abreast of technology advances and ahead of evolving threats, says Jeremy Hyatt, director of marketing, HID Global. In order to deliver these benefits, HID Global has adopted Seos as its credential technology standard. Silicon-independent, Seos can be easily ported across different hardware devices. HID Global’s secure identities can be loaded onto a Seos card at the time of manufacture, or provisioned to a Seos-ready phone via HID Mobile Access, which turns smart phones and other mobiledevices into trusted credentials that can replace keys and smart cards. HID Global secure identities powered by Seos provide an additional trust layer while enabling any smart device to become a trusted credential. As phones become trusted credentials in the near future, the industry can leverage Bluetooth and gesture technology. This, too, is an extremely promising new opportunity for the transportation vertical, says Hyatt. Bluetooth combined with gesture technology enables users to open doors and gates from a distance by rotating their smart phone as they approach a mobile-enabled reader. This improves the user experience while adding an authentication factor to the access control rule set that goes beyond something the cardholder “has” (the card) to include a gesture-based version of something the cardholder “knows” (like a password or personal identification number, or PIN). A user presents the phone to a reader, rotates it to the right, and then returns it to the original position so that the credential inside the phone can be read, and access can be granted. The smart phone knows how the screen is oriented because its accelerometer senses movement and gravity. Gesture commands speed access, minimize the possibility of a rogue device stealing the user’s credential, and give users a great deal of control over how they interact with the access control system. “Just as mouse technology revolutionized the computer interface, gesture technology is expected to change how users interact with access control systems,” says Hyatt of HID Global. "Just as mouse technology revolutionized the computer interface, gesture technology is expected to change how users interact with access control systems" What else is on the horizon for the transportation market? Analytics, analytics, analytics, says Joshua E. Phillips, director of enterprise and critical infrastructure at Verint Systems Inc. Manufacturers have started to crack the code on some of video analytics’ most dire challenges, he says. The first wave of analytics met the harsh realities of customer environments and eroded confidence in all areas of the security advisory community, most notably among security consultants. Accuracy, processing load and application guidelines have improved greatly since analytics first burst on the scene more than 10 years ago, and it’s time for evolution to take its course. March Networks is also working to further streamline the investigation process for end users and make it more collaborative, facilitating easier sharing of audio and video when an investigation is being processed. Milestone Systems agrees and is taking its sophisticated VMS solutions to the next level – case management. Using video for other purposes, such as police investigations, is becoming more typical. There are also a number of new scenarios being enabled by emerging technologies, adds David King, business development manager, city surveillance, transportation and critical infrastructure, Americas for Milestone Systems. For example, cell phone conversations can be compared with video footage of a platform, or the inside of a train car or bus. The ability to share video in real time and also after the fact enables new capabilities as well.
The security landscape continues to evolve in new, complex ways for transportation customers Dealers looking to enter – or to expand their presence in – the transportation vertical must adapt to the unique needs of each transportation agency customer. Issues such as limited budgets/resources, aging technologies, operational challenges and safety issues must all be considered when designing a system to best meet an agency’s needs. Integrators should seek to identify solutions that improve the agency’s capabilities to reduce manpower and operational costs, while providing the necessary level of safety and security for passengers and employees alike, says Steve Cruz, strategic transit solutions manager, Panasonic System Communications Company of North America. Tools like video analytics and easy-to-use video management software should be considered. It is also important to find technologies that are compatible with old systems and can be easily integrated with new technologies. “By understanding an agency’s everyday challenges, integrators can provide the best solution possible for each agency’s unique needs,” Cruz says. For dealer/integrators, the non-homogeneity of the transportation market is one of its benefits, says Anthony Incorvati, business development manager, critical infrastructure and transportation, Axis Communications. He advises dealers to build business by seeking opportunities across the diverse choices in transportation. “Once they look at their own strengths and weaknesses, integrators can play off that and align themselves with a sub-segment of the market,” he advises. There are many integrators who can play in various parts of the sub-segments, some of them very specialized, Incorvati notes. For example, an integrator could specialize in specific types of work in an airport project, a seaport project or a certain scope within a transit department. “There are specialized scopes of work that have specialized integrators,” says Incorvati. Sometimes it’s hard to become successful in a transportation category for integrators more experienced with general applications. “If you haven’t done it before, and if you’ve only done static deployments – only strip malls and elementary schools – it’s a very different and challenging market,” Incorvati says. “It’s not just providing product, but working in the various environments, with unions, during hours when trains aren’t in service. It’s very demanding in terms of contract deliverables and documentation – more than just providing hardware and software. It’s important to understand what these end users require and demand from their integrators.” For example, the intelligent transportation system (ITS) market tends to be specialized with a focused group of integrators, with little opportunity for new players, Incorvati says. The security integrator, not just the security systems, is paramount to the success of any type of system implementation at a transportation entity, says Joshua E. Phillips, director of enterprise and critical infrastructure at Verint Systems Inc. The security integrator’s on-site and service staff can develop a deep understanding of the facility engineering, IT operational standards and customer personnel to identify synergies, foresee hidden obstacles and bring a wealth of experience from previous similar projects, Phillips says. But does everyone realize the value of the security integrator’s perspective? The integrator would be wise to hold regularly scheduled performance reviews where they set some or most of the agenda, and ensure that new ideas and areas of opportunity are presented against the backdrop of cost mitigation or revenue improvement, says Phillips. The customer may see these ideas as credibility-building and be willing to grant integrators one of their most important assets – trust. The security landscape continues to evolve in new, complex ways for transportation customers, says Jeremy Hyatt, director of marketing, HID Global. This evolution brings change on many levels, which can and should be interpreted as an opportunity for improvement rather than an interruption or a distraction. This concept has never been more important for integrators as they face increasing pressure to deliver greater value and solve more complex problems for their transportation customers, Hyatt says. “Integrators can help these customers to expand and upgrade their systems easily and inexpensively to meet changing needs while leveraging new technologies,” he says. With access control platforms that use dynamic rather than static technologies, security become independent of hardware and media, supporting evolution beyond current abilities with the adaptability to combat continuously changing threats. “Helping transportation customers make the right technology decisions today will also help them meet new requirements with the confidence they will be able to preserve investments in their existing infrastructure,” says Hyatt. As with any market, security integrators need to take time to cultivate a relationship with the end users, so that they can design solutions that best fit the customer’s needs, says John Recesso, strategic business development manager, Sony Electronics’ Security Systems Division. Integrators should also have a deep understanding of the transportation industry and its unique challenges, so they can speak intelligently with decision makers and act as true partners, he adds. Finally, it’s critical that they have a team with the technical experience necessary to see the installation through from beginning to end, as well as provide post-installation troubleshooting, training and support, according to Recesso.
Cameras at airports today are often used for operations rather than (or in addition to) security Video cameras are great tools for security at airports, but increasingly cameras are offering operational benefits, too. Anthony Incorvati, business development manager, critical infrastructure and transportation, Axis Communications, says cameras at airports today are often used for operations rather than (or in addition to) security. For example, cameras mounted at departure gates are not installed for security but rather for operations and maintenance, as a tool to help airlines meet their goals for on-time departure. The cameras might ensure that gate agents are processing people properly inside the terminal, or view how ramp crews might be causing a delay. Are food service and fueling suppliers delivering on time or late? There are other operations benefits, too. For example, a major airport in Texas mounts cameras at the entrances to restrooms with the primary purpose of counting people, says Incorvati. When a certain number of people have entered the restroom, it triggers an alarm to the Operations and Maintenance department to send a cleaning crew because the restroom has reached a maximum number of uses. “We are also seeing cameras initially installed because of security that are now being leveraged by others at the airport – risk management, operations – and that’s where you see return on investment (ROI),” says Incorvati. “It might be paid for by security, but it’s used by others – more and more users and uses, and not traditional ones.” As an example of the growth of video uses, Incorvati points to a “major East Coast airport” (in the United States) where he sees exciting trends related to implementation of IP video in the airport sector. About 10 years ago, this airport had probably around 70 analog cameras covering the entire property. In 2013, Axis delivered its 1,000thcamera to the airport, and expects to deliver another 250 this year, and another 750 over the next four to five years according to the strategic plan. Eventually there will total about 2,000 cameras at the airport. An airport’s IT organisation often drives camera deployment, bringing various users of video surveillance to the table “If you think about who would be the main power users of the video surveillance system at this airport, your first thought might be the TSA, or Customs and Border Patrol, or airport security,” says Incorvati. “However, because of IP video, there are becoming more users and uses for the system. The users include folks from operations, maintenance, risk management, the airlines, etc. What’s happening is, IP video offers better image quality and can be easily distributed and managed. The maintenance director might say, ‘this image looks great, I want a camera over here now.’” Another use for video at airports is to monitor possible airport ground damage to aircraft, which can cost millions of dollars a year. Video surveillance can help to determine who and what is causing airport ground damage, whether it’s a crew member, a fueling truck, or the plane itself driving into something. An airport’s IT organization often drives camera deployment, bringing various users of video surveillance to the table. Although TSA funds pay for technology deployed in passenger screening areas, the systems are often implemented and managed by the airport, and the video can be used by other organizations in the airport. High-profile intrusions at airport sites around the world highlight another critical need at airports – perimeter security. While most issues around security checkpoints and screening passengers in airport terminals have been resolved, there remains tremendous vulnerability where protection is still needed: at the perimeter. Many airports have little more than a chain-link fence between the Air Operations Area (AOA) and publicly-accessible areas, making it too easy for an individual to gain access to the runway, employee areas or parked aircraft, says John Romanowich, CEO, SightLogix, Inc. Actual incidents like this are continuing to make headlines. “In reality, it’s harder to get a bottle of water through a security checkpoint than it is to climb the fence at many airport,” says Romanowich. “On the positive side, technology now exists that addresses the need for accurate perimeter security. This technology is now increasingly coming down in cost, making it more likely to be deployed.” SightLogix provides smart thermal cameras that combine heat sensing and video analytics to detect intruders; high accuracy eliminates problems of high nuisance and false alarms, which operators eventually ignore.
Axis Communications, the world leader in network video surveillance, announces a new transportation-focused IP camera series that offers protection against dust and water with the ability to withstand tough vehicular conditions such as vibrations, shocks, bumps and temperature variations with the AXIS P39-R Network Camera Series. AXIS P39-R Series also features an active tampering alarm function that allows for the detection of tampering attempts such as blocking or spray-painting the camera. “Axis is the pioneer in developing COTS (commercial-off-the-shelf), mobile-rated IP cameras and we are excited to maintain this leadership position with this release,” said E. Anthony Incorvati, business development manager, critical infrastructure & transportation. “AXIS P39-R Series is our third generation suite of ruggedized cameras designed for the onboard environment and, for customers who want to upgrade to this latest version, AXIS P39-R Series shares the same physical interface as AXIS M31-R cameras.” The cameras are specially adapted to respond quickly to changes in light levels, ensuring that high image quality and image usability are maintained. Also, the use of progressive scan enables the cameras to show moving objects without distortion. Traffic Light mode helps to better distinguish colors of traffic lights in very dark scenes. “In addition to the rail and bus markets, we are seeing more and more mobile applications for this type of highly reliable camera for rugged environments that include cargo and freight, emergency, mining and other types of utility vehicles,” continued Incorvati. The AXIS P39-R Series includes AXIS P3904-R network camera with HDTV 720p resolution, AXIS P3905-R with HDTV 1080p resolution and AXIS P3915-R with HDTV 1080p resolution as well as audio-in and I/O capabilities. Each model is available with either a male RJ45 connector or a rugged M12 connector. AXIS P39-R Series allows for a quick and reliable installation, as the desired field of view and leveled image can be easily achieved by using the supplied lens tool to direct and rotate the ball that holds the lens and image sensor. The tool can also be used to exchange and focus the lens when a lens with a different angle of view is required. The cameras provide a pixel counter for verifying that the pixel resolution of an object meets specific requirements.