Argoscan - hard shoulder release

For more than 15 years, Funkwerk compo­nents have been used at critical motorway sections for traffic observation and to ma­nually open up the hard shoulders. By using Argoscan to release the hard shoulders to traffic this ensures the smooth flow of traffic during rush hour and similar cases of incre­ased traffic without the need for expensive infrastructure like additional lanes.

Conventional systems
Without video support, the hard shoulders cannot be opened unless a worker has driven down the section to confirm it is safe to open it, which is time-consuming and labour-intensive.

A video system with static cameras requires the operator in the traffic control centre to visually inspect the sections to be opened by checking one camera after the other.

Potential for improvement

  • Manually releasing the hard shoulders requires about one minute per kilometre. Consequently, opening a section of 20 km creates an “observa­tion gap” of about 20 minutes. Once the section is opened, new obstacles might have developed unnoticed.
  • The distance between the static cameras is a maximum of 200 metres. By using dynamic pan-tilt units, the distance can be increased to 600 metres.

Solution: Argoscan – hard shoulder release

The use of pan/tilt cameras allows scanning motorway sections in the background as well. The “observation gap” can thus be reduced to less than 10 % (approx. 90 seconds) of the alternative solution.


  • reliable and fast release of the hard shoulders using multistatic Video analysis; automatic evaluation process as application in the background

  • optimal verification using pan/tilt cameras with high-Performance optical zoom (Platon)

  • support for the operator with the evaluation of results

  • user-friendly

  • the use of dynamic cameras significantly reduces Hardware requirements and the related infrastructure costs

  • prevention of unwanted alarms by intelligent filtering of events

  • additional uses such as traffic observation and analysis

  • “Best traffic management system 2007” in the federal state of Hesse.

    Thanks to the Funkwerk video system, traffic flow was increased by 25 percent which equals the reduction of 3200 hours of car traffic daily.

  • “Intertraffic Amsterdam Innovation Award 2008” in the category Traffic Management

Advantages and Benefits

Reduced video infrastructure requirements

with dynamic pan/tilt units, less than 40 % of cameras and poles are required.


Reduced traffic infrastructure

opening the hard shoulders temporarily is significantly cheaper than additional lanes.


More efficency

compared to conventional systems, Argoscan opens the hard shoulders much faster and more reliably.


Environmental protection

reducing congestion means less fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.


Faster response to regularly recurring traffic events

a foresighted and regular road scan supports the operator


Prevention of false alarms

irrelevant events are filtered out by intelligent algorithms.


Zooming in on details

dynamic cameras with variable focal lengths allow the detection of minute details.


Additional uses

apart from opening up the hard shoulders, the system can also be used for traffic observation and analysis.