Toronto, Canada — Having already deployed the Genetec Autovu system, Avis Budget Group required an upgraded system to give them not just an LPR solution, but additionally, an advanced access control solution with integrated video surveillance which could provide them with the ability to track their entire stock of vehicles with evidence to support the in-out activity. The plan was also to extend this solution beyond the gates of their headquarters into other locations such the airport branches.
As the previous City Manager for Avis Bugdet Group's Toronto Operations, Mrs. Suzanne Myrand was tasked with finding a new security solution that would help prevent future vulnerability at the headquarters. She was familiar with the Autovu system and realized the potential that the technology offered, but had a more aggressive plan in mind: "We needed an automated system that would give us the traceability we required on both the vehicles and their drivers," said Myrand.
More than an integrated and scalable system, Mrs. Myrand was also looking for a dependable and responsive solution, one that would be able to accommodate a large volume of vehicles coming and going. "We needed quick response from the complete solution as someone approached the entrance or exit, so that we would not hold up the gate," explains Myrand. "With 1000 moves within a working day, we just don't have the extra time to wait 10 seconds at each swipe of a card."
Last on their list of criteria was the need for a reliable supplier. "We are a company that is not really familiar with IP solutions and this was a big investment," says Myrand. "It was important that our supplier was able to explain to us how this new equipment and infrastructure would help us accomplish our objectives."
Being familiar with Autovu, Myrand contacted Genetec and was introduced to the Genetec suite, including the IP-based LPR, access control and video surveillance solutions which were exactly what Avis Budget Group needed. At this point, Genetec referred them to Robert Cairns, President at Cairn Control Systems Inc to help with implementation of their new solution.
Today, Genetec's Autovu is deployed at two main Avis Budget Group Toronto locations: their Canadian headquarters and their Dixon road maintenance facility, located just outside the airport. Each site has two lanes of traffic (one going in and one going out) and each lane is equipped with an Autovu Sharp LPR camera, totaling 4 LPR cameras. More so, Genetec's Synergis and Omnicast are deployed at three locations, including the same two locations where the LPR cameras are installed, as well as the Pearson International Airport location. Avis Budget Group invested in some access control readers and video cameras which are also positioned at each lane of all three locations, to capture badge credentials and video footage of drivers and cars entering and exiting each facility, using Synergis and Omnicast.
"This is really an enhanced version of Autovu," says Myrand. "With the new Autovu Sharp camera in place, the plate capture is much better in comparison to what we had previously. Also, Genetec provided us with all three components that we were looking for, giving us access control, LPR and video evidence of everything that is going on.
Mrs. Myrand was also pleased with the processing speed of the solutions. The IP-based nature of AutoVu, Synergis and Omnicast offered quick response time in terms of image capture and on-the-spot granted (or denied) access to driver's coming and going from each lot. In a matter of seconds, the card is swiped, the license plate is scanned and Omnicast captures all related footage, including a distinct image of the driver's face in case further investigation is needed. All information from all locations is then transferred back to the client application in real-time via a LAN connection.
Additionally, since all three systems were developed by Genetec, the level of integration between Synergis access control and AutoVu LPR solution within Omnicast's video management platform provided Avis Budget Group with correlated information through a unique feature called the Metadata Engine. Thanks to this feature, every license plate that is scanned is automatically indexed to the associated video and access control data for easy retrieval. Integration of all data in one platform provides operators with the tools to make quick assessments of situations and more in-depth decision.
"This entire system is so easy to use, and really enables us to find the information that we are looking for," declares Myrand. "In an investigation, which was key to adopting this new solution, we now have the data we need at the tip of our fingers."
Overall the solution that was chosen by Avis Budget Group has been ideal, not only for the innovative features, but for the very positive experience Mrs. Myrand and her team had working with Genetec and the systems integrator, Cairn Control Systems Inc.
Since the initial deployment, the system has been fully upgraded to Genetec's unified security platform, the Security Center. A step beyond simple integration, the Security Center seamlessly merges Genetec's IP video surveillance, access control and license plate recognition systems within a single innovative solution. Every aspect of Avis' security operations is consolidated under this single platform, from real-time monitoring to alarm management, reporting, and playback of events.
The Autovu system within the Security Center also now includes hotlist matching of vehicles that are scheduled for buy-back. Avis operators receive an alarm when a vehicle on the buy-back list is identified as entering the facility. This added feature provides Avis's team with timely identification of vehicles that are scheduled to be removed from the active vehicle fleet.
With Genetec's unified security platform Genetec firmly in place at major locations, Avis Budget Group has achieved its main objective: securing its fleet of vehicles. Today, Mrs. Myrand is proud to report: "We have zero cars missing since implementation." Nevertheless, the production manager at Avis Budget Group uses the system every day, even from home through the remote access capabilities, in case they need to know on the spot where a vehicle might be located.
More than that however, as a forward-thinking player in their industry, Avis Budget Group has also been using the integrated solution for cross-departmental functions. For instance, the distribution department at Avis Budget Group, a team responsible for managing vehicle inventory levels at all locations, has been actively using the system to physically see what inventory each location is carrying and then dispatch vehicles accordingly. "We used to call each location, but now we can actually see how many cars are parked [at the location, and how many people need to be sent to transport vehicles," says Myrand.
The possibility for other departments to use the system allows companies such as Avis Budget Group to distribute the total cost of ownership across many departments' budget.
Overall, Avis Budget Group has certainly justified the expense of ownership of this new Genetec solution. The implementation and use of the system has been so successful in fact, that they have introduced the Security Center unified security platform to their US counterparts, who are now looking into a similar project.
For more information: www.genetec.com