Embedded Analytics Assist in Protecting Car Dealer
With hundreds of cars in its lots at any given time, it is critical that Ross Downing keep a close eye on its infrastructure, personnel and investments.
Situated in Hammond, La., Ross Downing Buick, GMC and Cadillac of Hammond is a regional, independently owned automobile dealership. With hundreds of cars in its lots at any given time, it is critical that Ross Downing keep a close eye on its infrastructure, personnel and investments.
The Hammond area experienced an outbreak of thefts at car dealerships — with thieves stealing as many as 30 tires and rims in one night from a single business. The value of its automobiles and the influx in crime led Ross Downing to look at the possibility of adding technology to protect its environment.
The dealership met with Onsite Guardian, Hammond, La., an Advanced Mobotix partner and a specialist in innovative IP surveillance and monitoring solutions. Clay Mixon, co-owner of Onsite Guardian, recommended a Mobotix IP-based surveillance system to serve as a deterrent and an investigative tool if and when any crimes occurred by using Mobotix’s MxActivitySensor to detect movement in a monitored area with activity-controlled, software-based image analysis. Mobotix solution’s live and stored images combined with audio capabilities could deliver significant immediate and long-term cost savings though its decentralized structure, Mixon shared. The decentralized approach allows all processing to occur on the camera to reduce bandwidth requirements.
Onsite Guardian installed Mobotix M24M Allround and D14D DualDome megapixel surveillance cameras, which included the latest firmware with MxActivitySensor at no additional cost.
MxActivitySensor enables activity-controlled, software-based image analysis to detect movement in a monitored area. Unlike existing video motion sensors, which detect all events in the pre-defined area, MxActivitySensor delivers reliable motion detection, even in applications with large amounts of interference. Using the activity sensor, a camera can distinguish between movements of vehicles, people or objects that could trigger an alarm and movements that are not relevant, such as shadows, changes in light, swaying trees, animals or rain. The sensor is able to detect objects or people that cross the pre-defined monitored area regardless of background movement. This significantly decreases the number of false positives, and therefore, false alarms. In fact, Mobotix estimates the MxActivitySensor is proven to reduce false alarms by 90 percent.
The integration of the Mobotix ExtIO module with the dealership’s existing public address system enabled the system to automate the playing of two customized audible messages. From 9 p.m. to midnight, a female voice welcomes guests to the dealership but lets them know the lot is being monitored. Another message is played from midnight to 6 a.m. In this prerecorded message, a male voice informs individuals they have been detected, authorities have been notified and advises them to leave. Sound profiles were also created that play the default Mobotix Alarm sound before and after the verbal warning.
“Our objective was to create systems that detect the threat before a criminal act occurs, which in turn enabled us to proactively notify security or police personnel as necessary,” said Mixon. Mixon noted another advantage of the MxActivitySensor was the ability to prevent false alarms that plague traditional video motion detection, especially in environments subject to lighting, wind and rain, as is prevalent in this southern state.
The MxActivitySensor proved its value during a recent incident at the dealership. The event, which was documented in an online video on Youtube (http://bit.ly/1iwEnOt), shows two individuals walking into the dealership lot. The voice message sounds and the individuals stop, try to run for cover and then attempt to re-enter the lot. After multiple attempts, the perpetrators are unable to avoid ongoing detection and leave the premises. The public address system combined with the MxActivitySensor successfully deterred any criminal activity and eliminated any potential loss for Ross Downing.
In addition to the theft prevention from the Mobotix cameras and MxActivitySensor, the facility’s false alarms have been greatly reduced. A video monitoring service is also notified of any MxActivitySensor events and with the sensor, the monitoring service can assess the severity of the threat in less than one minute. According to Mixon, the dealership saves significant money by deterring the likelihood of additional events — a typical set of tires and rims can run as high as $6,000.
“With MxActivitySensor, nightly events per camera were reduced from more than 75 to as little as four,” Mixon said. “This has also increased our video retention time greatly due to the decrease in recorded events.”
With clear images of the parking lot and perimeter, real-time theft deterrence, and a reduction on false alarms, the system has proven to have a positive impact on the Ross Downing dealership.
Based in Indianapolis and Louisville, Ky., Miller Transportation specializes in charter, minibus, trolley and shuttle van transportation. To leverage the higher demand for chartered bus service, Miller built a $5 million state-of-the-art facility in Louisville in 2013, consisting of a 26,000-square-foot bus maintenance center and a 24,000-square-foot administrative office connected by a walkway.
Miller turned to Toshiba authorized dealer, Indatus of Louisville, a full-service data communications contractor, to provide phone systems, network infrastructure, cabling, building access and video surveillance for the new building.
Scott Langley, project manager for Indatus, led the design and installation: “Because it was new construction, we were able to install cutting-edge infrastructure and network cabling for both the company’s LAN and for the video surveillance system. We also put in an access control and phone system. This is truly the latest in data communications technology.”
When it came time to install the video surveillance system, Langley was asked to engineer it so that not only would it provide visual recordings of everyday threats, such as vandalism or theft, but it would also give management vantage points to remotely monitor the activity inside the maintenance center with its bus lifts, wash bays, fueling station and busy mechanics.
Indatus recommended that Miller install a Toshiba NVSe network video recorder in both the garage and the office building. Each NVSe is equipped with its own separate NIC cards, therefore keeping camera traffic off the company’s LAN. As a safety precaution, Indatus purchased additional licenses for the two NVRs so in case one went down or was sent out for repairs, the other could pick up a few cameras from the other building. Toshiba Surveillix® central station software is installed on both NVSe units for complete remote access, set-up control, user administration, video backup, live viewing and powerful search capabilities. NVSe recorders have dual monitor support via HDMI and DVI, a feature that Indatus uses in the garage for viewing on a desktop monitor with sequencing for four cameras. Indatus also provided management with Surveillix mobile software for viewing live cameras on smartphones and tablets.
Indatus installed a total of 34 Toshiba IP cameras in the garage and another 22 inside the administrative office. Toshiba IK-WD14A IP dome cameras with 1080p HD resolution were deployed inside the buildings while IK-WB80A IP bullet cameras went outside.
Almost 4,000 runners laced up their shoes for the Ridgewood Run in northern New Jersey on Memorial Day. SW24 Security worked behind the scenes with the Ridgewood Police Department to help provide cameras, video analytics and its Mobile Command Center for the event.
The Ridgewood Run is one of the largest and most well-known running events in New Jersey, said Gene Dellaglio, one of the SW24 Security company principals. “We assisted law enforcement planning for the event by providing four mobile cameras and four high-resolution cameras running analytics for package detection,” Dellaglio said. “People come from all over the country to run in the 5K and 10K events and we were happy to help in whatever way we could — Ridgewood is located in Bergen County, one of the many communities we serve from our SW24 Fusion Centre in Moonachie, N. J.”
Cheryl Moses, race director, said that security for the event’s runners and family members participating in the race was the top priority. “We work closely with the Ridgewood police department to help provide a high standard of security for the event, while at the same time trying to preserve a feeling of openness and create a quality experience for the runners,” she said.
At press time, John Ward, chief of the Ridgewood Police department, said he was working with SW24 to provide similar video services and analytics for that city’s annual July 4th parade and fireworks display, which collectively attract more than 40,000 people annually. “In addition, we are testing an SW24 video system as part of a traffic impact study — so SW24 is helping us on several fronts,” Chief Ward said.
Dellaglio said that after last year’s tragic incident in Boston, virtually all sporting events have a heightened readiness. “Dealers and integrators such as SW24 Security can help by lending manpower, technology and hardware to their local special events — it’s always a great way of giving something back to your community,” he said.