What is a Traffic Tracker made of?

The Traffic Tracker's wrap is eye-catching for sure. Its will be hard to miss this one as it rolls the morning rush! (Photo: WPEC)

The launch of Traffic Tracker 12 marks a new way of covering our area's traffic snarls and problems. Instead of just a series of road maps, CBS12 can make you an eyewitness to the traffic you want to avoid. But what's actually inside Traffic Tracker 12? How do we send back live video and how does it participate in CBS12's morning newscasts?

Traffic Tracker 12 started life as a rough and ready Honda Pilot, with color and options available to anyone. But a customization process added cameras and control equipment for sending video signals back to CBS12, and a special roof rack serves as a platform for an array of antennas and cameras. covered the car with colorful graphics, and installed all the instrumentation needed to allow Traffic Jam Sam keep an eye on major commuter routes. It was a conversion that took several weeks, but most people will agree the effort was worth it.

"Traffic Tracker 12 took months to bring to reality," said Michael Pumo, CBS 12 General Manager, "it took quite a while to design in all the features to make it unique on Palm Beach County roads." And unique it is. Packed with 3 cameras and video switching equipment, Traffic Jam Sam Kerrigan can bring viewers a real time view of what's snarling roadways. Sam can use wireless Internet to view exclusive traffic status information and use cellular technology to transmit live pictures back to CBS12 studios. It's like having a rolling TV studio and data center covering traffic.

"We can get early word of where a snarl might be forming," said Sam Kerrigan, CBS12 traffic reporter. "and we can show viewers just how bad it is and give them advice on how to avoid it."

Along with cockpit mounted cameras, Traffic Tracker 12 boasts a roof mounted remote controlled camera with a 360 degree view of the action. All of this video ability is routed through a switcher and then to a signal transmission system that uses cellular communication to send content back to the station. This means CBS12 has a rolling television studio that can keep you informed of traffic conditions in real time, from anywhere in South Florida.

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