Traffic flow on freeway with traffic monitoring cameras

Traffic flow monitoring on Swiss freeway Success story

Traffic flow monitoring is not only used to increase safety for road traffic, but also to maintain traffic flow through the collection data. Different types of sensors register the number of moving elements per unit of time. This provides insights into increased traffic volumes or congestion at roadwork sites.

Traffic cameras enable traffic monitoring staff to identify the cause of traffic incidents on the spot and take appropriate action. Variable traffic signs are used to communicate information such as travel times, accidents, speed limits, and so on. This serves to ensure smooth traffic and thus also to protect the environment by reducing pollution.

A8 freeway in Switzerland

A8 freeway in Switzerland

Framework data

The A8 freeway is an important cross-connection between the Bernese Oberland and Central Switzerland. It is the main artery for road traffic between the Brünig Pass and the greater Lucerne area.

Key data for the solution at a glance:

  • Canton: Obwalden
  • Location: A8 freeway Alpnach km 84 / gantry variable text display
  • Traffic volume: 27,000 vehicles/day on average in 2020
  • Client: Federal Roads Office FEDRO, Zofingen branch
  • Operator: Area unit GE X / Zentras, Emmenbrücke
View of IP camera on gantry from below

IP camera on gantry for monitoring traffic flow


There is a gantry with a variable text display that is used for traffic control on the section A8 Hergiswil – Alpnach. To further increase safety on this busy stretch of road, it became necessary to install an additional IP camera for traffic flow monitoring.

To ensure reliable connectivity via the IP communication network of the Federal Roads Office (FEDRO), the following requirements were set:

  • Redundant connection to the BSA GE IP network
  • Degree of protection of at least IP65 for use on a gantry
  • Extended temperature range of -40°C to +70°C
  • Controlled heat emission to the environment
  • Integrated and monitorable surge protection via SNMP or syslog
  • Detection of sabotage attempts with alert via SNMP or syslog
Smart Ethernet Box on a gantry with view of the freeway

Smart Ethernet Box installed on a Swiss freeway


The consulting and engineering company R. Brüniger AG recommended the use of the Smart Ethernet Box. This is an outdoor Power over Ethernet (PoE) switch (PoE standard IEEE 802.3 bt) with integrated wide range power supply unit of 100 to 240 V AC, surge protection, splice tray for fiber optics, and a 24 V DC switching output for supplying additional equipment. The Smart Ethernet Box is equipped with up to four Gigabit PoE ports and two uplink ports.

An additional IP camera was installed on the gantry and connected to a Smart Ethernet Box of the type SCX 4POE 2LX. The Smart Ethernet Box is integrated into the access ring of the BSA GE IP network via a singlemode fiber-optic cable. To ensure data security, ports that are not needed are disabled. In the event that the active port detects a third-party MAC address, the port security status is safeguarded by data packets being blocked and a trap sent to a predefined trap server.

We chose the test installation because:

• The Smart Ethernet Box is small, compact, and grade-separated.
• The device has good IP protection.
• The lightning protection is integrated at the same time.
• It can cover the needs of up to four cameras with PoE.
• The fiber-optic cable installation can be created easily.

Alexander Ackeret - R. Brüniger AG Engineering & Consulting, Member of the Management Board


The installation of the Smart Ethernet Box to monitor the flow of traffic will make an important contribution to increasing safety in this section of the freeway. The all-in-one device proves its performance with the robust housing, even under harsh ambient conditions.

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Robot with camera head