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The Highways Agency

Adaptive CCTV display


One of the aims of the Highways Agency (HA) is to improve the reliability of journeys through the reduction or better management of congestion. Cambridge Consultants was engaged by the HA to assist in the development of a system, using the HA’s currently installed CCTV network, to improve the speed with which traffic incidents were detected and cleared, thereby reducing incident-related congestion.


Adaptive CCTV makes use of a number of data sources, both live and historical, and applies a data fusion algorithm to combine the data in a probabilistic fashion. The system analyses this data including real-time video feeds from existing CCTV cameras to select those video feeds with the greatest probability of displaying an incident. The video feeds from these cameras are then highlighted to the operators by being displayed on a video wall, allowing faster detection of incidents by the operators.


The current system:

  • Reduces the number of false alerts by making use of a number of data sources and carrying out data fusion in a probabilistic way
  • Prioritises alerts by making decisions based on historical data eg distinguishing between normal congestion patterns and something unusual
  • Reduces the time taken between an incident occurring and the RCC operation being aware of that incident and taking appropriate action
  • Gives a clear presentation of displayed alerts to operators, increasing the likelihood of a real incident being identified

The system was brought into operation at two of the busiest RCCs.


The views contained here are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the Highways Agency.