MTO Toronto – Traffic Operations Centre

Applied Electronics Builds Massive 46-foot Curved Video Wall for MTO Traffic Operations Centre in Toronto

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Compass is a large, integrated high-tech Freeway Traffic Management System developed by the Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO) to respond to traffic congestion problems on urban freeways. Compass helps reduce traffic congestion and increases safety through prompt detection and removal of freeway incidents and vehicle breakdowns, providing accurate and timely freeway incident and delay information to motorists, and effectively manages peak rush hour traffic flow by balancing traffic volumes between the highway and other viable alternate routes through innovative traffic control devices. MTO is able to improve safety, optimize the real capacity of the highway, and provide a better level of service to motorists without the addition of more traffic lanes.

For large-scale freeway traffic management systems like Compass, the traffic operations centre is the focal point for all communications and control. It receives information on traffic conditions, analyzes and evaluates it, and make decisions as to what controls should be used. The Traffic Operations Centre is in operation 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and it is responsible for all Ministry freeway management activities within the Greater Toronto Area.

Applied Electronics was awarded the MTO Toronto Traffic Operations Centre contract in 2014 to design and integrate a curved 4x8 array of thirty-two 70-inch Barco OverView OL series LED-lit video wall modules into the newly-constructed control facility. The massive 46-foot wide video monitor wall is ideal for this type of mission-critical control room, which requires guaranteed uptime – especially during special events, such as the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am / Parapan Am Games, when increased traffic in the City is expected.

During the Games, MTO shared it’s brand new, high-tech facility with local police, transit, and provincial/municipal agencies by hosting a Unified Transportation Coordination Centre (UCC ) – a working space for transportation planners and operators, many of Ontario's top transportation officials, and representatives from the Ontario Provincial Police (PP) and Toronto Police.

On the second floor, where the UCC was stationed, multiple meeting spaces and multi-purpose rooms lined the perimeter of the main Control Centre – each with a clear sightline of the large video wall. Integrating these meeting spaces into the larger monitoring function of the facility, Applied Electronics equipped them the Panasonic PTRZ670WU 6500 Lm Laser projector and the Panasonic PTRZ670BU Lamp free single chip projector, a large 109-inch Draper motorized front projection systems, Polycom RealPresence video conferencing systems, Barco ClickShare wireless presentation systems, audio conferencing systems, professional grade audio and microphone systems, and Creston control functionality.  All the audio, visual and unified communication systems integrated with the video wall’s Barco Control Room Management Suite, which includes a Display Content Management System (CMS), and enhances users' viewing experiences and operations.

This was the first time that transportation operators from all of the region’s transportation authorities worked together in one location as a team – watching 450 traffic cameras, checking weather reports, and monitoring transit systems in order to keep the region moving during the Games. The UCC room is located inside a $10 million dollar MTO building that houses $9 million dollars-worth of technology. After the Games, the working space will be available for other major events requiring regional coordination.


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