Tuesday, April 3, 2012

New Traffic Cameras!

If you watch traffic reports on television or check road conditions online, you may have noticed that the traffic camera feeds look crisper, sharper and more colorful as of late. And you would be right.

Caltrans District 7 (Los Angeles and Ventura counties) received funding to upgrade 60 percent of its 464 traffic cameras. The replacement project began in 2010 and will wrap up this month.

The oldest (and worst) cameras were selected for replacement. For you tech types, the new cameras are Cohu SD Helios. In addition to producing clearer images with better color, the new Helios can switch to IP with built-in H.264 video compression. Translation: the new cameras can feed images compatible with digital television format over the internet.

Like the old cameras, the feeds from the new cameras are not recorded and they’re not used for law enforcement purposes — two common questions motorists ask. Contrary to Orwellian urban legends, there is no zooming in on license plates or drivers. The cameras are used to monitor freeway conditions, verify reported incidents and dispatch an appropriate response.

Want to check out the new cams for yourself? Click over to Caltrans Quickmap or Go511.com.